I’m a yes girl. A people pleaser. If I have to say no then I am suddenly stuck dealing with guilt so in order to avoid those yukky feelings, I just say yes. For me, it’s just easier and makes more sense. Pretty silly way of thinking, wouldn’t you agree? In all honesty, saying no is hard dammit. It is for me, or it used to be.
I’m not alone here and I know that. Plenty of us are like that. We are pleasers. We want everyone to be happy. We want to help the world. Save them all. Admirable? Yes. Sensible? Absolutely not. It took me a long time to realize that I just can’t always say yes.
It took me even longer to not feel guilt over it. I struggled with this. Why can’t I help Sally? But George really needs my help. Oh shoot, Emily is calling for a favor again. It was constant. I wanted to help them all.
You’re one of those people too aren’t you?
The light bulb moment
Then something in me changed. I don’t know how it happened. It just happened. One day I came to the realization that I am not God. Who knew? I also came to the realization that dealing with guilt was exhausting!
Iva, you can’t always say yes. It’s OK to say no. Really, it is. Try it and see what happens. So I did. I tried it.
At first I had a sick feeling in my stomach. This little voice came up and kept saying “bad Iva, you’re going to Hell..bad Iva”. And then this flash went off and I shut that voice up right quick.
I am so NOT going to Hell. I’m a good person. I had to tell myself that there is no guilt or shame in saying no. It was absolutely perfectly OK. And for the first time, I found peace in that. It really was OK.
Dealing with guilt sucks
How often have you had those feelings? Are you like me? Just say yes and avoid the guilty feelings? I discovered that those feelings are made up by me. Yup. I absolutely have no reason to feel guilty. I’ve done nothing wrong. The little devil inside my head made up those horrible guilt feelings.
So how did I tackle all those thoughts that Satan plugged in my brain?
Not only did I realize that I’m not God, I can’t save the world and I don’t have to say yes all the time I also realized this…
Let others help too
Now that may sound like it was some crazy easy transition that went almost effortlessly. Almost, but not quite. I had to justify my refusal to help, right? Not to the person I just said no to, but to myself. I needed to know that in my heart of hearts it was OK for me to say no. And this is how that went……….
· When I say no, I give others a chance to say yes, purely a win win
· When I say no, I don’t put my things on the back burner and I get my things done, another win win
· When I say no, I’m not going to make enemies, these people will still love me, they will understand
· When I say no, people will respect me and my time more and, when I can say yes to them, they will appreciate it more
And the best part of all, the more often I learn to say no, dealing with guilt becomes less of an issue for me! Yay!
See, justification isn’t a bad thing. It’s something that, sometimes, we need to do to realize that saying no isn’t terrible or the end of the world. When we say no, we give others a chance to say yes.
It’s also about self-care and self-love. We need to think of ourselves first and foremost and that’s OK too. It’s not being selfish, it’s being realistic. Love yourself first. Learn to say no. It’s OK. Trust me on this one.
Do you have a hard time saying no? How do you feel when you have to say no? Share your story.
Pardon me? NO you can’t have a piece of my chocolate bar. Sheesh. The nerve.
Peace and Love
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