Learning to set boundaries and respect your values and limitations has its difficulties, to say the least. There are many people out there who’s automatic default is to step back and let the other person go first, at least, being born and raised in Canada, that seems to be the norm around here.
I personally, come from a long line of people pleasers and “yes-men.” I cater to the wants and needs of others and I often put the needs of others before my own. In some cases this is understandable and expected (think your kids as an example here, but even then this should have limitations), but generally speaking this type of behaviour is not right and can cause you some major psychological effects if not handled and dealt with appropriately.
Being suuuper nice and generous with your time and energy has its obvious perks on the path of life and journey on the karma train, but sadly… there are many not-so-good people that can quite literally smell you out, track you down and take full advantage of your generosity and inability to say no. It can be dangerous and let me tell you, it is completely draining. Energy vamps are everywhere, beware, protect your energy and steer clear at all costs! (See my post on 5 ways to protect your energy)
Teach yourself how to say no. Practice with the small stuff and work your way up to the more daunting tasks.
We often have a habit of back peddling or trying to explain why we don’t want to do something. Please understand that this is not necessary in all cases. “No” is a complete sentence and in some cases, that is all that needs to be said. If someone can’t respect your answer the first go you need to re-evaluate where that conversation is heading and adjust accordingly (see my article on “Are you sacrificing your happiness”.)
Let’s break it down a bit so it’s a little bit easier to digest.
If it doesn’t light you up, it’s a no.
If it makes you uncomfortable. it’s most certainly a NO.
If you’d rather stay home in your PJ’s while drinking a big’ol glass of red and eating Ben and Jerry’s out of the tub… it’s probably a no.
You don’t want to go on that date? Politely decline.
You don’t want to see that guy again? Sorry dude, it’s not you it’s me.
Or whatever you have to say to decline eloquently and respectfully.
If you don’t want to do it, don’t. period. Easy peasy, right?
Maybe for those that have been doing it their whole lives, ya, for sure it’s easy… but for the rest of us, it’s hard. it’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. You feel bad. Sadly, as a people pleaser, you do things to appease people, even though it makes you feel like shit. You put yourself in uncomfortable situations in order to keep the peace or keep the other person happy. You go without so someone else doesn’t (this is ok in some instances, but not every. single. time.)
You’ve taught yourself that suffering is acceptable and part of life.
What the hell are you thinking?! Sorry to break it to you sweetheart, it’s not. You need to shift the paradigm and start putting YOUR needs first. I’m not saying you need to start being a dick about everything, but be respectful, be true to yourself, and for the love of all things Holy, stop taking people’s shit!
Stop doing things that aren’t fun.
Stop putting your needs last.
Start owning who you are and what you want. It’s perfectly acceptable to want what you want!
So why do you want to start saying no more? Well, for starters…
It is freeing.
It is liberating.
It is joyous.
It will free space not only on your schedule, but also in your HEAD. Imagine the freedom *gasp*
It will help you set and stick to healthy boundaries.
It’s… surprisingly HARD! Step outside of your comfort zone here and respect your needs. You’ve got this.
It’s so totally worth it, I promise.
Doing it alone doesn’t make it any easier either. If you are dealing with a narcissist or someone who is manipulative and abusive, trust that you don’t have to do it alone. There are support systems out there that can help you speak up, help you stand up for yourself, help show you and teach you how to handle both yourself and the situation. I’ve been there. I know how this works. If you are in need of support, love and guidance along your path to freedom and liberation, please Contact Me and setup a consultation.
This article was originally posted by me on June 16, 2017. I’ve re-purposed and updated the previous version posted on www.sheenacunning.com with my permission, of course 😉