I really suck at saying no to people. I find it really hard, always have. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, analysing if you will, my inability to say no and I’ve realised that I find it hard for a number of reasons.
- I’m a perpetual people pleaser: I don’t want to let people down, I don’t want to disappoint them. I worry what others think (a lot) and I want to be liked.
- I don’t know how to; like literally. When someone asks a favour, asks you to go somewhere or do something how do you actually just turn around and say “no thanks” without an explanation? I always feel I need to give a good reason for saying no and in the absence of quick thinking I often find myself panicking and just saying yes.
- I genuinely want to help people: I really do. I like helping people. Especially when it comes to my friends and family.
- I don’t want to miss an opportunity: I don’t want to say no to something and then have it turn out to be a missed opportunity that I will forever regret. Trouble is, without a crystal ball, you never really know that at the time do you?
So yeah, for a variety of reasons, I find it hard to say no. But, on the flip side, I know I need to learn how to say no more because:
- I end up doing stuff I don’t want to do and going places I don’t want to go. Nothing worse than that ‘how the bloody hell did I end up doing this/being here’ feeling.
- It creates expectations. People just come to assume you will say yes. You’re the organiser, the planner, the helper; you always do it so why would you say no? And I can’t really resent people for thinking that because really, I’ve created that expectation by always saying yes.
- My priority should be me and my family. I shouldn’t be taking time away from them and spending my energy elsewhere on things don’t really matter.
- It’s exhausting. I get exhausted. I am exhausted.
So, I know for all of these reasons I need to work on saying no more. And I’m trying, really I am. It’s a (slow) work in progress.
Any tips for a perpetual people pleasing yes person like myself? Or is this something you struggle with too?