By Sandra Domingos
There are too many nice people in the world or so it might seem, with the number of “yes” folks you run into on a daily basis. However, what about the lesser heard “evil sibling”, the word NO? As a child, you were raised to be considerate to others, and to accommodate them as much as possible. Are you saying no to yourself by saying yes to others every time? Chances are that is exactly what you are doing, even if only subliminally. Wondering when is the time for you to use your NO’s effectively? We’ve got you covered!
Piling on Stress
Doing too much feelings of overwhelm cause and add to chronic stress, and people who cannot say no are usually the first to fall victim. It is important to understand your own boundaries and limitations, and while helping others is important, you have to take care of yourself first. This means sometimes saying no to friends and family, in order to maintain an optimal level of health and wellness for yourself.
Feelings of Obligation
This is by far the most common cause of resentment in persons, since they are basically “forced” to say yes whether or not they want to. Maybe the person asking did a major favor for you in life, maybe it is a family member. You feel a sense of obligation to always be on beck and call for whatever that person requests of you, but you need to ask yourself “when is my bill paid in full?” This constant obligatory situation builds resentment, and resentment can literally make you physically ill! You need to let them know you have to put yourself first, by doing what you need to do. If an issue arises, it may be best to sever ties and remove a toxic person from your life.
Though we fully understand the need to unwind after a tiring week’s work, there is absolutely no justification for staying out late and drinking on a weekday when you have responsibilities to meet the next morning. It is more than likely the result of friends asking or quilting you out even though your better sense says no. You’re not doing yourself any favors as you will be sleep deficient the following day, not to mention likely hangover and miserable. Saying yes to that, is saying no to your well-being.
Enabling Bad Behavior
It has happened to all of us before, from a kid asking for something, hearing no and slowly breaking you down, too much worse influences on your life. From friends begging you for a loan, to unnecessary spending, while it may seem ok or insignificant at the time, it enables bad behavior and disrespect over the long haul. When you say no, it needs to stay that way. You will gain infinite respect for having unbendable beliefs and will be looked at as a pillar of strength.
Not Speaking Up
There have undoubtedly been numerous times when you sit quietly while something (or someone) boils your blood to the point of an eruption, yet you show no outward emotions. This can range from a boss berating you in the office, a bully, or a random stranger who finds it appropriate to assert their dominance over you. By allowing it, you are doing just that, rolling over and assuming the fetal position. Open your mouth, demand your respect and speak for what you believe in.
NO is not a bad word. It has been criminalized via society and the illusion that things must be ok all the time. You will only end up resenting yourself for being weak, and not ever doing what you want to do by allowing others to always walk over you. You need to look after yourself before you look after anyone else after all, lead by example!
*Sandra Domingos is a Brazilian life couch, certified yoga teacher and a travel passionate. She has visited more than 50 countries around the globe. When Sandra is not traveling, she is in her home in Itararé (Bahia, Brazil) or visiting family in L.A and/or Santa Barbara (California).