Do not be afraid to say 'NO'

It is the most kind, forgiving, and the nicest of us who happen to be ‘Yes’ people or simply put - the ones who are afraid to say ‘No’.

If, for example, you have a friend or even a relative who keeps borrowing money from you (but never pays back) you may not feel comfortable saying 'no' to them. You may not even have guts to remind them of what they owe you in the first place.

If, for example, you have someone asking you for constant favors, but when you need them - they are nowhere to be found, you may still be afraid to say No.

Why do we do THIS??

We do this because we are AFRAID.

~ We are afraid to offend them. We want to please and be likable. Saying ‘No’ feels like the opposite of this, so we say ‘Yes’.

~ We are afraid of rejection. We worry that if we stomp our foot and say ‘No’ they will get pissed and reject us forever.

~ We are afraid not to ‘fit in’. We want to be part of a team (an organization, a group, etc.) and saying 'No' would put us into outcast territory.

We say ‘Yes’ because we feel like we have no choice, because we are not used to saying ‘No’ or because we do not know how to do it.

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It is especially true for those who have been on a pleasing mode all their life and saying No has (probably) never even crossed their mind. There are ‘Yes’ people out there and you may even know several of them. You may not think of them as a ‘Yes’ person though. You may perceive them as someone who has an understanding heart, who is comfortable to be around, is extra-giving, and who goes along. No biggie you think. Right? Actually no.

Saying No is not about being mean, cruel, or unfriendly. It is about YOU setting up boundaries of how much you are willing to give and self-sacrifice in the name of others. It is all about BALANCE. If you cannot balance your accommodating of others vs. your own needs, then you will never be fully happy with yourself. You may even secretly hate your ‘giving nature’ wishing your were like those ‘selfish people who do not care how others feel’. Not saying ‘No’ builds resentment which may spill over to other areas of your life.

You might think that being a ‘Yes’ person is the only way to be accepted and liked by others, but the fact is that it is the ‘No’ people who get admired and respected the most. It is no secret that ‘Yes’ people get walked over and taken advantage of all the time. In essence, ‘Yes’ people have it all backwards.

~ When you say ‘Yes’ to something uncomfortable because you want to be kind and loving TO THEM it negates your ability to be kind and loving towards YOURSELF. These two cannot be compatible. It is either your own comfort or theirs.

~ You want to show that you care and so you say Yes. You may certainly care about them, but do they care about you as much to do the same in return?? No? Then you have a right to say No too!

~ You may be afraid to say No because you do not want to make waves. You do not want to provoke them into doing something that would make things far worse. It is like you have no choice but to pick between two types of discomfort of various degrees. This kind of trap is a pure setup. Are you aware they are in control of you? By trying to make things better and easier for them you make it more difficult and worse for yourself. This is a one-sided relationship with you pouring your time and emotions into a black hole.

Actually, you do not even need to be a super-conscientious and a good-hearted person to get yourself trapped into the ‘Yes’ mode. It happens to normal people too!

As an example: a friend of mine - let’s call her Lori - got an unexpected and rather surprising call from an acquaintance to babysit her 2 years old toddler. Lori has never met the baby before, but since she was 1) on very good terms with the acquaintance and 2) she loved babies she gladly agreed to baby sit for 1 hour. There was no pay offered for her ‘service’ and I think even if it was, Lori would not take it. She did not feel comfortable taking money from her friend. (Unlike her friend who was OK with calling out of the blue to ask for her time)

Lo and behold, several weeks later she got another call. ’Something came up’ – cried her hyper- ventilating friend – ‘can you stay with my baby for about 2 hours??’ After a pause she added ‘My baby sitter is not available and I trust you like no one else!!’ It did seem like an emergency. Lori agreed to baby sit again but this time she had to cancel her hair cut appointment. This time 2 hours lasted a whopping 4 hours. FOUR HOURS!

I remember Lori’s resentment over this. She was exhausted, angry, and tired. She did not say anything to her apologizing friend though… She did not feel comfortable and felt like it would be selfish to complain. Hmmm... No money was offered this time either, but she was promised a dinner 'sometime’.

As you have figured by now, the dining never happened, but there was another call AGAIN. This time Lori knew that she was done and came up with an excuse. Basically, this time she put her own needs, plans, and well-being over her friend’s ones and said No. She had to put an END to this and pretty quickly. She did not want to be sucked into a ‘swamp of favors’. She never agreed or signed up to baby sit someone on a regular basis. Ever! What was she? A 911 service?? Good for her.

It may not be that hard to modify our behavior in the beginning. When all this ‘can you do this’ or ‘can you do that’ begins to emerge on horizon all we have do is to recognize what is happening and cut it off immediately. No harm will be done TO THEM, believe me. They lived without your ‘Yes’ all this time and they will be OK with your 'No' too. I promise.

~ say No to babysit kids of a man you are dating IF he does not reciprocate in the manner you want. Do not even start it! It is about a give and take balance, remember?
~ say No to a poorly treating you date who asks you for multiple favors (perhaps you have connections?)
~ say No to any man who keeps saying No to you too!

If you have been a ‘Yes’ person for your entire life, then it may take time for people around you to adjust to your 'No'. Oh, it will be a hell of adjustment, actually! You may lose some people in the process (I call them users and leaches) and your family and friends may not be happy at first. AND IT IS OK. It is expected. It will be like a ‘cleaning’ procedure – users and leaches will fall off and only those who truly care will stay. Makes sense?

When we change, we force people around us to change too. You may go as far as start saying little ‘No’-s to something insignificant. Just say that small ‘No’ and notice how it makes you feel. As you gain confidence, saying 'No' to bigger things will become easier and less scary.

We make this change to gain something no one will ever give us – the inner sense of peace and agreement. There is absolutely nothing worse than constantly going against ourselves. Say a big fat 'No' to your timid, insecure, and miserable 'Yes'!!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Articles - How to be lucky in love and Stay away from men who make you feel insecure or my empowering eBook (in Kindle or PDF format) When you are DESPERATE FOR HIS LOVE: how to leave your bad relationship without feeling like you are going against yourself. It will reprogram your brain!