I found the article “The People-Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No” this morning, and thought it was excellent. It isn’t easy to say no, as I have written about before. However, saying no is a necessary part of self-care – sometimes, the things people are of us are just too much to take on.
You might find yourself unable to do the things you need to do, because your time and energy is taken up elsewhere. You might even find yourself resenting the person who asked you to do the task – and they may not even realise how much you have taken on and how you feel about it!
Saying yes can be very rewarding – the satisfaction in having a good interaction with someone, the joy of helping someone do something, the pride in an achievement. However, when there isn’t a balance between your yeses and your noes, things can go very wrong. It might not be just you that suffers – the article gives a good example of a man whose nearest and dearest were suffering because of his inability to say no!
The book “When I Say No, I feel Guilty” by Manuel Smith is a useful classic if you find you have difficulties in saying no. After all, it isn’t just saying the words which is tough (yes, getting such a little word out can be really difficult!), but there is also potential fall-out to consider.
You may find that people react badly to a bald “no”, so the article linked above has some handy suggestions for ways to soften it and help things go a bit more smoothly.
Like anything, being comfortable saying no takes practice. You may get it wrong or stumble several times – that’s okay! Reasserting your boundaries may be tough for a while as the people around you get used to it – that’s okay too!
What changes might you see if you balanced your yeses and noes more? Would you like to make those changes?