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