Learn to say No
Taking care of yourself means making difficult decisions and taking uncomfortable action in order to maintain well-being and growth.
For a lot of people saying NO to someone is the most difficult thing to do, and if you do manage it, dealing with the guilt gremlins afterwards can wreck your head. If you do do it your head is filled with all the alternative ways you SHOULD have handled it, playing different scenarios over and over in your head.
People pleasing has become a ‘thing’ for so many people that you might not even realise what’s happening until it’s too late and you find yourself tired, grumpy and frustrated, acting from a place of resentment not love and this can be damaging to your soul.
So how can you deal with this?
Firstly, DO NOT feel you have to give an immediate answer. Start by saying ‘give me a minute and I’ll let you know’. This gives you a little head space to work out what’s right for you.
Consider if you actually want to carry out the request or not.
Consider your reasons.
Ask yourself simply, ‘do I want to do this or not?’ Avoid falling down the rabbit hole of excuses, justifications and skewed reasoning.
Will your boss REALLY sack you for asking for extra time off?
Will your friends REALLY stop being your friends if you don’t attend the event?
Will your family REALLY think you’re useless if you don’t have dinner prepared on time? . . . .and so on.
Question everything. Ask yourself “what is the WORST case scenario if I say no?” and then “Can I handle that?”
Try not to add in extra stories or explanations to try and excuse yourself. A simple ‘sorry no’, is all you need.
If there is an obvious alternative, you could add that in.
Someone asks for a lift:
“I can’t help you this time but if you hop on the number 19 bus it takes you straight there”.
Can you watch the kids again?
“I can’t help you this time but I’ve heard Mary’s daughter offers babysitting sitting services for a small fee”.
Can I borrow some tea bags?
“I can’t help you this time but I hear the supermarket is running a great 2 for 1 offer on tea bags”.
Can you just help me with this?
“I can’t help you this time but I hear Sarah in personnel is a whizz with that programme”.
Are you coming out Friday?
“I can’t, I’ve made a commitment to spend more time with my family but ask me next time”.
Be assertive, I know it’s terrifying but it becomes easier with practice.
Try not to over talk. I know I tend to gabble away when I’m nervous.
Don’t over apologise, you’ve done nothing wrong.
Don’t be vague or try to skirt around the issue, be the direct, but polite, person you want to be. Sending mixed messages just confuses things for everyone.
Setting boundaries is healthy.
The world will not end.
If someone doesn’t want to take no for an answer don’t be backed into a corner by a bully. Bullying is NOT acceptable, DON’T tolerate it. Firmly repeat your no and your reason for it.
If someone wants to continually test your boundaries maybe it’s time to take a look at the relationship and make some changes, people will treat you how you allow them to so if you find yourself constantly being put under pressure to accommodate other peoples needs learn to say no and move on, you deserve better than that so own your worth and start practising that word.
Look at saying no with a view to learning more about yourself, what can you learn from the experience? What went well? What can you improve on next time?
And finally, ask yourself, what is it that you’re afraid of?
Every experience can be used to deepen your sense of self awareness and grow.
From one reformed people to pleaser to another. You got this!
Do you have a story of when you said No? Come and share it with me and my tribe in A Moment for Me. Join me Here