No is such an amazing word!
We’re gonna talk a lot this week about how to say no – it can feel very challenging – but I first want to touch on why saying no is important.
Each of us has our own goals for our lives. And a lot of times, we need other people to help us achieve our goals. For example, if we want a promotion, we can work as hard as we possibly can, but we need someone to give us more challenging work, and we need someone to acknowledge our competence, and we need someone to speak up on our behalf when we go in for that promotion. In this example, the person who is going to do those things for you is probably your boss, and it’s also beneficial for them, because by training their employee to be ready for that promotion, they’ve demonstrated their worth as well.
But sometimes, other people expect us to help them achieve their goals, in a way that might not be mutually beneficial. Your parents may have the goal to create close connections with their family, but that means they expect you to come over for Sunday dinner every week. Your partner may have the goal to spend more time with you to create a rich home life, but that means they expect you to stay at home with them on weekends (when you like to go out and do things). Your best friend may have the goal to stay in better contact, but that means that she expects you to answer the phone whenever she calls.
It’s easy to say yes to all of those things, because they’re all people that you love, and you want them to be happy. But what happens is their happiness and their goals start to take priority over your own. And over time, that can lead to a lot of resentment.
(And resentment is bad.)
Saying no isn’t saying to anyone that you don’t care about them.
Saying no lets you create boundaries.
Saying no let’s you focus on your goals and what makes you happy.
So this week, we’re gonna practice saying no more. Get ready for it.