Every time I go and speak people talk to me about their schedules. They tell me they’ve never been busier. They’re overwhelmed and out of balance.
Does that sound anything like you?
If so, a part of your problem may be caused by your inability to say, “No.” When people ask you to do something, even things you don’t want to do or have time to do, you may find yourself saying “Yes” all too often.
Again, if that sounds all too familiar, it’s time for you to change. Without the ability to say “No,”you end up living someone else’s life instead of your own. You’re governed by other people’s priorities and that’s not a very healthy, happy, or satisfying way to live.
If you need to get better at that, here are six strategies to say “no” more effectively and put a stop to inappropriate people pleasing and start living a saner, more respectful life.
1. Be Honest
When you can be honest about how you really feel, you let people know the real you.It takes a lot to admit that you want to stop. You pretend that you can keep giving but you can’t keep up the pace. Taking the risk to be honest about how you really feel is the first step towards changing this pattern.
According to the National Family Caregiver Alliance Center, caregivers (often considered people pleasers) are at risk for depression, heart disease, obesity and other stress-related illnesses.
2. Acknowledge your needs
Acknowledging what you need means that your focus is where it needs to be — On you!
Acknowledging your own needs doesn’t mean that you have to stop giving. Just check in with yourself first.
Next time you’re asked a favor think about whether or not it works for you. Or, do you have other priorities? Speaking up about what you need lessens resentment and helps you feel more authentic.
On the other hand, when the focus is more on others, your needs get ignored. If you ignore your needs, you teach others to do the same.
3. Say No Nicely.
Say No nicely to all the unwanted people and works which you don’t like.“No” is a word that many of us could stand to use a little more often. How many times have you said no only to go back on your decision when put under a little bit of pressure from another person?
I used to do that all the time or I would say no and then make a number of excuses to justify my decision (many of these were white lies to make saying no more feasible).
The thing with making excuses rather than offering a firm and honest no, complete with a truthful reason that you can stick to, is that it opens up the possibility of negotiation with the other person. If that happens, your inner pleaser is likely to give in and you’ll once again find yourself doing things that you don’t want to do and putting yourself last.
So, how do you stop this behavior? Say no in a way that feels good to you, but in a way that is strong.
You don’t have to use a one-word answer, but you should be truthful; for example, “I would love to help, but unfortunately, I have booked a me day that day,” or “That sounds like a great opportunity, but I think someone else would be better placed to help.”
Stick to the original answer and if someone tries to enter into negotiation them simply but firmly repeat it.
4. Practice Self-Care
Attend physical, emotional and spiritual needs to stay balanced and avoid overwhelm. You can always make yourself top on your priority list. Pleasers often make themselves low on their priority list and for them, other materialistic things are in priority. Which result in losing their self-worth in front of others even sometimes they lose their self-respect too. Always try to love yourself most because at last, the only love that can save you is self-love.
In wasting a time in pleasing people you must learn something new and amazing which can furnish your personality to a different level.
I bet, If you work on yourself you will never feel alone or you feel pleasing to someone to be with you.
5. Let go of the guilt
You deserve to have what you want. Pleasers often feel guilty when they say no to a request. You probably feel that you are being selfish or that you have let someone down. This is misplaced guilt. You have done nothing wrong, and that person will most likely find another solution to their problem.
When you feel guilty, honor the feeling, but think about how much worse you would feel if you said yes to yet another thing that you didn’t want to do. The likelihood is that this would feel worse. Remember that the guiltily feeling will fade quickly.
If you feel that bad, grab your journal and list all the pros and cons of your decision. I bet the pros list is longer!
6. Trust that it will be ok
No matter what reaction you get, those who really love you can honor your needs too.
Basically, it boils down to this. You’re either living your life or someone else’s. The only way you’ll live your life is to say “No” when you really need to say “No.”
Final Thought: Never exchange five minutes of discomfort for two weeks of work and a year of resentment.