Saying NO without an explanation is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
I said Yes to everything. It’s how I ended up in two marriages I knew weren’t going to be good for me and in jobs that made me miserable. I really committed to my Yes. Then I was mad at everyone but me, not realizing I had all the power to change it.
I’d say Yes to almost anything. A dinner that I didn’t want to go to. A task I didn’t want to do. An errand I didn’t have time to run. A family reunion I knew I should avoid. Yes. Sure. Ok. Words that so easily popped out of my mouth.
Brain is saying, “Stop it. Say No”. Mouth is saying, “Absolutely, I’d love to do that for you”.
The struggle is real.
I’d like to say I’ve totally got this one in the bag now. I don’t. But it’s getting better.
Pause. Let Go of the urge to just say Yes, because it’s the easy way out. Press my lips together as I consciously review if saying Yes is going to ‘cost me’ and if I have the energy reserves to do it without resentment.
I’ve also learned that a simple and kind, “Oh I can’t” shuts the door on any attempts to convince you that you can and you will. If you give People excuses or little white lies they’ll see a crack. They’ll poke their foot in and start wiggling that door open. They’ll get out the mighty ‘sword of guilt’, and chop the door hinges off.
Once that little excuse or lie comes out of your mouth you’ve really just said Maybe, and will soon be using up extra energy bucks to stomp around the house mad again.
As a child I was taught to do what other people wanted me to do, without question. ‘No’ was met with a swift smack on the head. It was disrespectful and rude. It was Selfish.
This is a truth I’ve had to un-tell myself. It’s work. But it’s worth it.
Saying NO, with no explanation why it doesn’t work for you, is a quick boundary we should never be afraid to put up.
It’s an expression of Self Love.