Saying No when you need to is self-care. It is a huge part of boundaries. Saying No is hard. Building and maintaining boundaries that are healthy is hard. What is healthy and what is not is pretty much subjective, do you agree? Think about what you’re willing to accept and not willing to accept.
I’m naturally a people’s pleaser and I believe most women are too. We learn the hard way to stop people-pleasing; it costs us our happiness and joy sometimes. I used to have a hard time with boundaries especially when it comes to family and work. For many reasons, it was often hard for me to ask for what I need and to say no to requests/demands. In one way it felt good being needed but in another way I also felt resentful toward myself for saying too many yeses. I used to feel torn between letting people down and letting me down and was always thinking of other people’s priorities and needs first before my own. I still do now but I get over it pretty quickly once I decide that ‘no’ is the answer.
Without boundaries, conflict and misunderstanding can arise. This often leads to resentment and frustration. And if not dealt with or addressed sooner it could lead to bigger things such as relationship strains.
In a physical world, boundaries are easier to identify, for example the boundaries of your property; you know what belongs to you and what doesn’t. It’s much more difficult, of course in a non-physical world where it can’t be seen but it can be heard, thought of and felt. But it is just as real as the physical ones. According to Cloud and Townsend, boundaries define us - they define ‘what is me and what is not me’. A boundary shows where my part ends and someone else’s part begins. It defines ownership, responsibility and accountability. It defines self-care and self-love for sure.
The simplest form of boundary setting is the word NO. And this needs to communicated clearly and simply. And you don’t necessarily need to apologise for saying no. Yes it may be uncomfortable but this will be nothing compared to if you didn’t say no and defend your boundaries. So have the courage to say no sooner than later because sooner or later, it will catch up with you and you’re the one that is left burning with resentment.
Next time you have trouble saying No, remind yourself that you’re protecting your property, and that property is YOU. You’re not only supporting yourself, you’re supporting others too. Because by saying no to them, you’re empowering them to make other decisions and seek other help for themselves. You also become a role model for your children, friends, family and others around you.
What can you say No to? Let me know in the comment. And if you need some support to set your boundaries, please drop me a line, I’ll only be too happy to help.