Have you ever felt like it’s impossible for you (or someone you know) to have the guts to say no? Would people consider you a “yes man” or “yes woman?” Do you often sacrifice yourself, your emotions, your physical health, or your emotional and mental health to please others?
If you said yes to any of these questions, I strongly urge you to keep reading.
We all want to do what we can to help friends, family, co-workers, and other loved ones in our lives. But sometimes we do it at the expense of our mental/emotional health, and physical health. Today I want to help you and empower you to SAY NO! I also want to tell you how you can do so with grace.
The Tiny, 2 Letter Word We All Struggle With
No. NO. Noooo.
Literally only 2 letters (unless you exaggerate it like I did the last time). These 2 letters often have us stumbling. It’s so hard to say no sometimes.
I think it’s hard for a lot of us because we are afraid of what the other party’s reaction may be. It can feel like such a “loaded” word.
Because of the fear we have of saying no, we find ourselves saying “yes” to things we really don’t want to be saying yes to. That really needs to stop! It is something we all struggle with, and something that I personally continue to struggle with sometimes.
Stop saying yes to everything!
I want to start by saying this: in no way is this post meant to be negative. I genuinely want to help you to begin your new journey toward prioritizing your family, yourself, your wants, and your needs.
Often times it can be hard to find a balance when you are constantly finding yourself in “compromising” situations that you don’t want to be in. This can be anywhere from being around a group of people who make you uncomfortable, to constantly doing favors for people who don’t reciprocate them back to you.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably said yes many times to things that you didn’t want to do, didn’t feel like doing, or weren’t comfortable doing. Sometimes it just feels like we say yes to any and everything even when it isn’t mutually beneficial or it harms us in some way, shape, or form. We have to seriously sit down and ask ourselves, why? Why do we constantly put ourselves in situations that aren’t good for us, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc just to please other people?
It was time for me to take back control of my life.
After experiencing multiple losses in 2019, I really stopped being that “yes” woman. I had to force myself to stop pushing myself to be around people I didn’t want to be around, I had to stop doing things I didn’t want to do, and I just had to put my foot down. It was time for me to take back control of my life. I had to learn to take care of me, my family, and our needs. If I didn’t, who would? That’s when I started saying no.
What Saying No Doesn’t Mean:
Saying no doesn’t mean that you don’t care about a person or a thing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t value relationships with other people. It doesn’t mean that you believe your needs to be above everyone else’s, and it certainly does not make you a selfish person.
We recognize that saying no might be hard because it can lead us to feeling guilty. It may even also hurt the person’s feelings that you’re saying no to, and it may even form somewhat of a “rift” between you and that person.
What it really means:
By saying no, you are really saying yes to you and your family.
You are saying yes to:
-Other opportunities that may have been missed if you had not said “no” to doing the other thing
-Being able to spend more time with your family;
-Being more productive
-Your mental (and sometimes physical) health
-Having more energy to do things that YOU want to do.
Here are my 5 reasons to say no:
1. You protect your peace
2. Only YOU know what YOU want/need
3. You set boundaries when you say “no.”
4. Utilize that saved time to do something you want to do
5. You begin to prioritize YOU and your family
How to Say No With Grace
Like I mentioned earlier, you may end up feeling guilty or regretful for telling that person no. I want to tell you how to say no without feeling guilty, and without hurting the other party’s feelings.
First, avoid flat out saying no. Avoid saying “I’m too busy for. . .” because this can definitely cause hurt feelings.
Instead, try leading with:
“I appreciate. . . but. . . “
“Thank you for. . . but. . .”
“Unfortunately I. . .
“I would love to. . . but. . .”
Again, I don’t want this post to come off as negative or that I’m promoting selfishness. I just feel like there are many of us in this world that will constantly put ourselves in harms way because we don’t know how to say no. I truly hope that this has helped someone.