A Difficult Precept

20120727-141756I’m a “pleaser” by nature.

I feel very uncomfortable if I can’t “fix” a problem or just “work harder” to get everything done.

the-day-you-learn-to-say-no-to-what-currently-is-is-the-day-you-unlock-the-possibility-of-all-that-could-beAs I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s not as easy as “just saying no”. Because after a long time of living this way, one attracts those into one’s life that enjoy being with someone who says “yes” and makes life easier for them. And the people in my life expect me to say “yes” and often become disgruntled when I “complain” that I have no time or I’m too busy. That makes me uncomfortable, and the process starts again.

It’s not as if I can just walk away from these people either. They are a part of daily life – most at home, some at work, some in other areas. So I’m forced to try to find a way to “re-train” myself – and them – to a different expectation.

You-have-to-learn-to-say-no-without-feeling-guilty_-Setting-boundaries-is-healthy_-You-need-to-learn-to-respect-and-take-care-of-yourselfUp until now, the only time I’ve been able to break the old pattern, even for a moment, is when I finally get angry when someone persistently takes my innate drive to help and work for granted.

Unfortunately, anger isn’t comfortable (or productive) either. Also, I can’t sustain it, due to my nature of being a “look at the bright side” kind of gal.

I’m glad that I’m like that, but it does make the yo-yo of trying to just say no when my habit and nature like to say yes that much more pronounced.

Xk32hbcI’m sure you’ve noticed how I’ve sprinkled a few very nice “self-help” posters about this issue throughout this post. They’re all very good and very true. I just have a hard time putting them into practice.

So for all you pleasers out there…how do you help yourself to implement the ability to (gracefully) say “no”? Do you have a little mantra you repeat to yourself? Do you use a system of numbers to arrive at when you’re overloaded? How do you help yourself to feel less disappointed and selfish when you say “no” to things that others expect and that you’re accustomed to providing? I’m all ears! 🙂

3 thoughts on “A Difficult Precept

  1. I remind people of what I have already said “yes” to. It pulls into conversation the commitments I already have and de- emphasizes the audible, but inevitable negative tone of the word “no”. I think people pleasers ( I am one) are also more modest and sometimes others don’t realize how full our schedules already are.

    Me, I’ve swallowed my pride and told some of my current energy level and need to put on hold new commitments.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you have to set boundaries for people who are controlling, and people who expect you to always say “yes.” They won’t like it and might even stop speaking to you, but ask yourself: Did they really treasure you in the first place? It’s hard to say no, but if you can do it, you will find it very freeing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just don’t allow them to make me feel guilty about saying no. There are those who tend to take advantage and ask for way too many favors. The more you do, the more they want you to do for them. There are givers and there are takers.

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