How many times do you find yourself in the position of being asked to do something you really don’t want to do but feel obligated to say yes? Say yes to donating money to a cause you know nothing about, or going out when you would rather say no, or maybe even to see a close friend when you are dying to be elsewhere.
For me, this has been a huge problem all my life. I feel this weird sense of obligation and guilt every time I want to say no, even if I am in desperate need of rest. I end up committing to things I do not believe in, causes I don’t care about, and activities that drain me. I end up upset at myself for agreeing to say yes, I am grumpy, tired and stressed, I drag everyone else around me down with my bad energy, and the worst part is all of this could have been avoided with a simple but firm no.
No, I am not interested in donating to your cause. No, I do not want to babysit your eight- hundred rowdy kids. No, I will not allow you to take advantage of me and my kindness. Saying no is hard! We have been told that saying no is bad and you’re selfish. You need to accept every invitation otherwise you are being rude or you are going to offend someone, but guess what WHO CARES?!!
This has been an absolute revelation to me this year. I admit it: I was afraid of saying no because someone wouldn’t like me or want to be my friend. I was so terrified of rocking the boat and offending someone with my no I always said yes. Yes, to overworking myself, yes to stress, yes to exhausted breakdowns, yes to sickness and yes to suffering. Me saying yes got to the point where I felt powerless and there was no hope of happiness.
Let me take you back to a year ago when I was renting a duplex with three friends. Let me set the stage:
The way we paid our bills is I would pay everything up front and then everyone would reimburse me. As you might image, this worked for about point one days. It was a source of great anxiety for me. It would be days after rent was due that I would finally get rent if I got all of it. I would ask once and then wait, often times it didn’t come at all. At one point, one of the roommates didn’t pay rent for 3 months. Needless to say, I was sick of it. Suddenly being nice and waiting for rent was not an option. So, I told him he needed to leave and that the choice to not pay rent had resulted in the consequence of getting kicked out. He tried to guilt me into letting him stay. I informed him that he had twenty-four hours to leave or I would be changing the locks. He could go to the homeless shelter or stay with a friend but he would not be taking advantage of me any longer. It was worth me paying rent all by myself to not have him in the house and with it the stress! It was as if a weight had been lifted off of me. Another time, this girl stayed for a month and didn’t pay rent, this time I told her she needed to pack her stuff and leave in ten minutes…which she did.
I do not have time for people to take advantage of my kindness. Your actions have lead you to where you are currently, and those actions have consequences. I am not responsible for picking up the messes you continually make. Go bother someone else. You see, they will take advantage of you as long as you allow it. The minute you say no more, they go bother someone else!
I was free of those toxic people and I also learned my lesson never to rent with other people again. It was a very painful lesson but I am so glad to have the experience. I was not going to make a change until it got too uncomfortable for me to remain in that same space. Let me tell you, my life has taken a 180-degree change. I am no longer scared to say no.
One of the things I am learning is that my time is too valuable for people to take advantage of. If I say yes to everything, I will have no time for what is important and in alignment with my highest self. Saying no has changed my life!
Let me tell you, the minute you say no you release yourself to do the things you love. People need to hear no more! Can I get an amen!!!!