Learning to Say No & To Not Feel Guilty About It

June 7, 2018

I’m a big people pleaser. I like to make people feel good. 

But because of that, I have a hard time saying no or making a decision. For example last Saturday my boyfriend and I were deciding on what to eat that night, I offered option A and him option B and we ended up choosing option A because he didn’t care too much and I was craving it and I felt so bad. I was all “are you sure?” “We can go to option B if you want!”, “We can still go to option B next week!) just because I didn’t want to be the happier one. Silly, right?

The thing is, by never saying no or “whatever you want”, I accept things that I shouldn’t. I don’t like saying no because it makes me feel bad for the other person and I’m way to compassionate for my own good, when actually sometimes it’s necessary to say no. Recently at work, I’ve had to learn to say no because someone was starting to use me to their advantage. At some point, I just had to stand up for myself and just say “no, I won’t do that”.

I’ve learnt that by saying no and standing up for myself, people respect me more and actually pay more attention to what they ask from me and they trust my answer when I say “yes” to something. If I say yes, I truly accept, if I say no, it’s just no. 

However, by learning to say no, I’ve also had to learn not to feel guilty about putting myself first. And it’s hard for me. It took me at least 15 minutes to write my answer because I felt bad and though I knew I was right for doing so, I wanted my email to do be too straightforward but polite. 

In the past couple years, I’ve learned to listen more to my body and mind in the sense that when I feel something is right/wrong, I should do/not do it. This had come with learning to handle my anxiety and it’s been a massive help in my life generally speaking as well. I only do what feels right. Yes sometimes I’m tired and I don’t want to watch my sister horse-riding, but I’ll say yes because I know that she will be happy and that a bit of fresh air will help me loosen up and unwind, plus it’s a moment when I can talk with my parents without having another distraction. No, if I don’t want to go out at night and party, I won’t go. It won’t bring me anything other that being more tired, probably getting anxious and honestly, I can’ be bothered. I’m good at home watching Netflix, thank you very much. 

It’s definitely part of growing up to get to know your own limits and actually get people to respect that. You don’t have to do anything that doesn’t feel right or that you don’t want to do. It might be hard, but it’s unnecessary to blame yourself. The other person should accept your decision and hopefully, not insist.

It’s called respecting someone’s decision.

And for some people, it seems to be taking a long time…

7 responses to “Learning to Say No & To Not Feel Guilty About It”

  1. I am the biggest people pleaser as well, so I am exactly the same when it comes to situations X

  2. Charlotte says:

    I’ve been working on this too, and spoke about it in my latest post – since saying no to the things I don’t want to do I’ve found myself to be much happier and I have more time to do the things I love.

    -Charlotte / myownblogofthoughts.blogspot.com

  3. Saying no is definitely hard especially when you love to help people. I have a lot of people that count on me. With all the favors I was doing I was feeling extremely stressed out and depressed. It seems nobody cared about the fact that I had a daughter or my own responsibilities to take care of. So I stood up for myself and for my daughter and started saying no. It was a huge chain being set free from when I started using the word no!

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