Knowing When to Say No
Have you experienced an instance when someone asked you to do something and you really didn’t want to do it, but instead say “yes” because you didn’t want them to think badly about you? Most everyone has!
What is a boundary? It is what is okay and what is not okay in your world. Boundaries are the keys to self-love and to treating people with kindness. Setting a boundary is having the courage to put yourself first – to take care of you.
Most people have experienced a situation where they realized they needed to set a boundary so a person didn’t take advantage again . . . but how do you do it? That’s the challenging question.
The # 1 Rule in setting a boundary with someone – NEVER put yourself in a situation where you might be harmed.
There are several steps to setting a boundary and the first one is to determine who or what and why you need to set the boundary.
Perhaps someone asks you to do something for a committee and they expect you will say yes because you always have before. BUT you really don’t have the time or the desire to do it. What do you say?
- Your choice is taking care of you by saying “no” or saying yes, and possibly feeling overwhelmed which leads to exhaustion. So what if you say “no” and feel guilty for a little while – you can learn that it’s more important to respect yourself than worry what others might say about you.
Step #2 is setting the boundary:
In this case – say “Thank you for asking me, at this time I will not be able to . . . (whatever the situation was requested).” You do not need to go into any explanation as to why you are saying “no.”
- Example: Someone asks me to go out on a Friday night after a really long week and I just want to go home, order pizza, and watch a movie. My response is, “Thank you so much for thinking of me, I already have other plans, perhaps a rain check for another time.”
Step #3 is staying firm in your boundary which equals having a lot of respect and care for yourself.
As you know, you cannot please all the people all the time, so I suggest you quit spending so much time and energy trying to do so!