If you tend to be a people pleaser, your inability to say no to others can eventually impact your outlook on life in a negative way.
This is because you may feel angry at yourself, or at the person who asked you to do something that you didn’t want to do. If you continue to do this, it can lead to self-frustration, reduced self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
Along with this are negative thoughts, passive aggression, and a sense of loss of control over your own life. That is why it is so important to learn how to say no. Doing this will improve your self-esteem, your happiness, and thoughts.
Why is it So Hard to Say No?
You’ve developed the belief that it is rude to say no to people when they ask you, you’re scared that they won’t like you if you say no, or you feel selfish for saying no when someone wants your help.
Here are some things to keep in mind to make it easier to say no to someone:
1. Realize That You’ll Have to Say No to Good Things Too
Saying no is not only about saying no to things that don’t interest you. You have to realize that you have to say no even to good things sometimes.
You may be a popular, sought-out speaker. You’re asked by a number of organizations to speak at their events. You feel blessed to be recognized for your skills, but you recognize that you can’t attend all the events because of family responsibilities, and you need to be home too.
In this case, it’s okay to choose the speaking events that best suit your schedule and that of your family’s, and those events which are in sync with your future plans for your career.
2. You Will Be Respected
As Dr. Phil is known for saying, “We teach people how to treat us.” If you are always saying yes, even when it is not in your best interests, others will continue to treat you that way.
When you can say, no, even to good causes, you retain your dignity and self-respect. After all, you are in control of your own life, and you don’t want to let others run your schedule.
3. Realize That Your Needs are as Important as the Person Making the Request of You
We’re all given 24 hours/day, and once today is gone, it’s gone forever. Your aspirations and goals are just as important as the next person. If you spend all your time pleasing others at your expense, you’ll never be truly happy.
Remember these tips when you need to say no:
- When you say no to someone, it doesn’t mean no forever. For example, your friend is having another weekly crisis, and you already have plans with another friend. You can suggest an alternate date that works better with your schedule.
- If the person you say no to doesn’t understand or gets angry, that is their problem, not yours. You should never be made to feel guilty for saying no to someone.
- When you don’t say no to someone’s request, you’re actually still saying no to someone else – yourself. In other words, now you won’t have time to exercise, or relax with a good book if you say yes to someone else’s request.
It’s important to change your thoughts and beliefs around saying no to others. It’s perfectly acceptable to say no. Others do it all the time and so can you.