Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for March 27, 2013

Permission to say No

If I could give you anything I’d give you back yourself. What does that mean? Many of us are so busy meeting the needs of others that we forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. We put ourselves second, third or even in last place and then wonder why we become resentful and exhausted. To add insult to injury, then we start feeling guilty about these feelings! I have a question for you to consider to illustrate this point. What have you done lately that was simply fun to do? When was the last time you felt like you were smiling from the inside out because you were just simply enjoying the moment?

It is not easy to say no to someone who continually relies on you. It makes you feel needed and important. Over time being the ‘go to’ person results in a feeling of being taken advantage of – and you are right. Once the habit is established it is difficult, but not impossible, to pull back and change. However, it is so important to allow others to meet their own personal and family needs. It helps them grow and realize that they are capable of so much more. Greater self confidence is a result of meeting challenges and learning that you can overcome them. Would you want to rob someone of achieving greater confidence? Of course you wouldn’t but by trying to meet everyone’s needs that’s what happens.

Giving to others is a good thing. We were taught that from childhood. What many of us were not taught, however, was to value ourselves enough to be able to say no to a request or expectation from someone when you really want or need to do so. Why is it so hard to say no? Basically, we are afraid ‘they’ won’t like, appreciate or need us in the future. So rather than facing our own insecurities we just put our needs on hold so that we won’t let someone down. By doing so we let ourselves down in the process.

We all want to feel loved, needed and safe. These emotional needs can be a gift or a burden. It’s all a matter of perspective and moderation . It is so important to love ourselves enough to calmly yet firmly refuse to be the person that everyone else relies on. There are no blue ribbons or 1st in show awards given out to us when we are always available, always meeting the needs of others. In fact, just the opposite is true. We become less respected and our lives become more chaotic when we are in a cycle of continually helping others and placing ourselves and our needs on the bottom of the list.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed or burdened by meeting the never ending needs of others maybe it’s time to reassess your own behavior. It is never too late to learn the art of gracefully saying no to someone. Just like everything else in life, it is not what you say but how you say it that makes all the difference. Consider practicing how to say no to someone with positive, loving energy. Remember you will be allowing them to grow into the confident, capable human being that they are meant to be in the process.

Have a great few days!