Tired of Being the Huckleberry?

Lost Mule Lodge

…a journey that began with a cabin in the woods

Remember the movie Tombstone when Doc Holliday tells Johnny Ringo, “I’ll be your Huckleberry”? Were you as confused as I was – What the heck is a Huckleberry? Over the years, I must have watched this show half a dozen times before I looked it up.  It means – the perfect person for the job.

Being a Huckleberry is an honor. Unless you would rather not do the job and like so many, you find it difficult to say no.

I used to work with two ladies, they were both equals on the corporate ladder.  But every time something came up that the one didn’t want to do, she would ask her co worker to do it.  And the co worker always complied, even to the point of missing her own child’s ballgames and many family functions.  I could see on her face she didn’t want to take on the additional tasks. She wanted desperately to say no, but she agreed to take on each and every task asked of her.  My heart went out to her.  I began to see her as a victim. As an observer,  I had trouble understanding why it was so difficult for her to just refuse.

Since then, there have been times when someone has asked me to do something extra and I would hear YES from my mouth and think, why did I agree to do that?  What was I thinking?  It was like my brain and my mouth were experiencing an uncontrollable  misfire.

Then remembering my past two co workers, I learned to control my response.

Here are some tips I use to help me say NO.

It is a time commitment –

Try to remember that when we agree to take on more responsibility we are giving up doing something in our daily tasks – for most of us that would be something we do for ourselves or our family that we would be neglecting or trading for this new responsibility.  I ask myself if it is a trade I am willing to make.

No explanation needed –

Keep the response simple and polite.  Respond and change the subject. No excuse or explanation is needed.

Be clear –

Don’t act like you would love to, but…  this just brings on the coaxing, short and sweet are best.


Try not to give the impression that we need to think about it…

This just gives hope that you might say yes and then later saying no will be more difficult.
Think about why we feel compelled to agree to things we don’t want to do…. are we afraid the friendship is at risk?
Are we people pleasers, afraid that we won’t be liked if we say no?

If you get asked to do extra things in your free time or at the office – be flattered that others think of you as the Huckleberry – the perfect person for the job.  But be true to yourself.

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All photos, thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

Copyright © Lost Mule Lodge 2017 All Rights Reserved


  1. Katie @pixiedustandwhiskey.com

    This is great! I love that movie too, but also didn’t understand what that meant. I thought maybe he was Huck Finn to his Tom Sawyer. LOL!

    • teresa.peters@live.com

      Hey Katie – my daily cheerleader! Thank you for reading and sharing. Just thinking about this movie makes me want to flip to Netflix and see it again… now that I know what the heck they are talking about!!

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