When we give away to much of our own power and care more about what others think about ourselves then anger, disappointment, and doubt can creep in. It’s imperative that you not only be aware of the people pleasing tendency but also try and curb it.
Practice saying no.
If you say Yes simply to avoid conflict or please other people then it probably needs to stop. Others will unfortunately take advantage of this–sometimes without even realizing it.
It comes down to being aware of your own worth and doing what YOU need to do rather than constantly doing for others.
You do NOT need a reason to say no.
You do NOT need to feel guilty when you say no.
You do NOT need to apologize for saying no.
Saying NO does not make you a selfish person. It means that you’re looking out for your own well-being and have the self respect and strength to carry it out.
The scenarios are endless. A few examples maybe
- constantly having to drive and no one pitches in/pays for gas
- a cheating girl/boy friend. Always say sorry and you accept the apology even when you don’t want to
- drinking alcohol when you really don’t want to but feel pressured
- constantly being ‘volunteered’
- others expecting you to do all the organizing
- you want to avoid (anticipated) conflict at any cost so you agree
- you’re afraid people won’t like you if you say no
- you feel cornered or pressured into saying yes
Living this way is not only exhausting but unsustainable. You’ll burn yourself out constantly doing things for others and therefore neglecting yourself. This is a time for self care and that means learning to say NO.
SEVEN STRATEGIES TO USE TO SAY NO
- 1. Practice in front of the mirror. Be firm but not angry.
- 2. If taken off guard ask for time to think about it. If it’s not in your best interest and you really don’t want to do it come back and say “I’ve thought about it and while I appreciate you asking I’m going to have to say no.” End of story.
- 3. There is no need to explain your reasons. Establish your boundaries. For example: you do not provide daycare or walk other people’s dogs. It’s really okay to set those rules/boundaries down and stick to them. Say flat out: No, I don’t do that.
- 4. Know your priorities and be willing to use them. If you’re married and have children then that is a priority. Perhaps you belong to a running group–that is a priority for you. Tell people that your time is limited and that your priorities are in place. Do not sluff off your priorities in order to say yes to a request.
- 5. Let others know you’re already overloaded and you can’t take anymore on. Say: No, I’m already booked solid. or I can’t help you as I have too much going on right now.
- 6. Walk away when you see the writing on the wall–if you suspect that a conversation is leaning toward requests for your time/money/person exit the the area. Excuse yourself before you can even be asked.
- 7. Blame Auntie. I’m fine with that. You can use me as an excuse any time. If you don’t want to go to the company dinner then instead of saying yes tell everyone that you promised your Auntie you’d fix the front door.
Go forth with your own priorities and wishes. Be healthy. Be yourself.