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I'm an emotional health mentor, edu-preneur and coach who loves teaching you how to understand, manage and embrace your emotions.
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As a recovering people pleaser, I’ve found it really hard to say no to people. But when I stop and reflect, it helps give me the confidence to do so. Here are 3 questions that make saying no easier.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that I’ve struggled with saying no. Since I’ve had a history of codependency, I just automatically want to say yes all the time!
On the other hand, I’m also a helpful person by nature. If someone needs something, I truly do want to help them. So, sometimes my own nature is against my ability to say no.
Also, like a lot of kids, as a child I learned that saying no just wasn’t an option. Since my boundaries were never really respected, setting them as an adult has been pretty difficult.
However, as I’ve worked on healing myself from my childhood baggage, I’ve found it so much easier to start saying no.
So, now when people request something of me that I’m not sure if I can say yes to, I take a pause to check in with myself.
If you can relate, here are 3 to ask yourself that make saying no easier in your personal life.
First of all, when someone asks something of me, I ask myself if it’s actually something I WANT to do.
Do I WANT to be in charge of bringing the main dish to a party?
Do I WANT to babysit next weekend?
Do I WANT to look over that paper for a friend?
Personally, I like to do something for others because my whole heart is on board. When it’s a ‘yes,’ then I can give out of love and happiness.
But if I don’t want to do it, or I do it out of obligation, I’ve found that it totally drains my energy. And a lot of times, I end up feeling resentful.
So, instead of saying yes right away I check in with myself to see if it’s something I truly want to do.
Secondly, I ask myself if I have the energy or capability to say yes to this request right now or not.
Sometimes, even if I want to say yes, the truth is that I just don’t have the mental capacity to add another thing on my plate.
For example, of course I’d love to attend that fun party next week. But if I was planning to use that as a full night off to recharge, it’s better that I say no.
So, remember to check in with your to-do list and your energetic capacity. If you just don’t have it in you, it’s ok to say no!
Finally, I like to check-in with my motives.
Since I’m oh-so wired to people please, I usually have to check my reasons for wanting to say yes.
Am I saying yes just to please them?
Am I saying yes out of fear they’ll reject me if I say no?
Am I saying yes because it seems like they expect me to?
A lot of times, saying yes to something I don’t want to do comes out of fear. Maybe I’m afraid I’ll lose them as a friend if I say no. Or maybe I think they’ll stop loving me if I say no.
BUT, these are not good reasons to say yes!
Personally, I’d never want anyone to say yes to me out of fear. So, if I think of doing the same to someone that I care about, it doesn’t feel very good or honest.
Before saying yes, I do my best to always check in with my true motives. When I can say yes because I actually want to, then it feels good! But if it’s a no, then it’s a no and that’s ok.
To wrap things up, I’ve found it so helpful to take a little pause before I say yes to absolutely everything.
When I’m in touch with myself, my needs and my desires, then it’s easier to say no when I need to.
What are your tricks for feeling comfortable saying no? Tell me in the comments!