If you're anything like me, using the word "no" can be difficult and yet not saying it can make things overwhelming, stressful and even more difficult. If you're not someone who can easily throw it out there, it can be a process and journey.
Is this you?
One of the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say “no.” You can always count on them for a favor. In fact, they spend a great deal of time doing things for other people. They get their work done, help others with their work, make all the plans, and are always there for family members and friends.
This is the definition of a people pleaser according to Psychology Today. I'll raise my hand right now to tell you that definition describes me and it would seem like a good thing and in a way it is. People love you. You're always surrounded by friends because you're the most reliable and dependable person they know.
But there are consequences... the flip side of this ...
- You're always overwhelmed and stressed because you're constantly saying yes to things you don't have time for
- You never have time to eat because you've overbooked your schedule
- You're always running late because you had to stop and talk to your friend, your mom, your neighbor, etc.
- You over ate at a birthday party this weekend because you couldn't say no to the hostess
- You ate really bad when out with co-workers because you didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable by order a salad.
- You didn't make it to the gym because your boyfriend asked you to come over sooner after work.
- You eat fast food for lunch because you didn't have time to pack one.
- You over eat because you're so stressed and overwhelmed all the time.
You get the picture... what you need in your life basically comes last.
You are not living your happiest life when you're constantly worried about other people.
Here are a few simple ways to practice saying no:
1. "Let me think about it".... instead of just throwing out the word no, which can be scary for a people pleaser (believe me I get it). Say "let me think about it" or "let me check my calendar".
2. Think about the consequences of saying yes .... before you say yes, think about what the impact of you saying yes is. Ask yourself if you're being realistic with your expectations of time and energy when you say yes. Will the benefits of saying yes out way the consequences?
3. "What I need is just as important as what everyone else needs"... remind yourself, let it be your personal mantra, that you are just as important as everyone else.
4. Listen to your body to eat before anything else. Make sure you're meeting your own needs for rest, relaxation, enjoyment and food before saying yes. If you're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted that's your trigger or sign to slow down and say no.
It's a process, be patient with yourself. Sometimes you'll say yes and sometimes you'll say maybe and eventually you'll say no!