It’s Okay to Say No. Really.

Anyone who truly wants to be in your life will respect your boundaries. Period. –

Do you find it difficult to say “no” when a friend, coworker or family member wants you to do something out of your comfort zone? Do you say “yes” to every request that comes your way, no matter what? Do you have problems SETTING BOUNDARIES?

Join the club.

Wherever I travel, I meet people who cannot say no to requests to volunteer more, donate more, work more hours, serve on more committees, listen for hours to friends’ drama – all to the detriment of their personal needs.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we take on other people’s work, drama, issues, _________ (fill in the blank) when OUR plate is full? Why do we keep saying “yes” when in our heart we really want to say “no”?

It all boils down to two things: fear and guilt.

Often, we find it difficult to set boundaries because we are afraid of the consequences – either real or perceived. We fear that:

  • we won’t be loved
  • we will be abandoned
  • we will make someone angry at us
  • we will be lonely
  • we won’t be accepted
  • we won’t get the raise
  • we will lose our job

And with this fear comes guilt. And this guilt comes from the place where we want to please everyone. We feel we are letting someone down if we don’t work those extra hours even though we have a family commitment, if we don’t bake homemade cupcakes even though we are slammed on the home front, if we don’t lend a friend/family member money even though we are living paycheck to paycheck.

These feelings of fear and guilt lead you to attempt to please others at the expense of what is best for you. And inevitably, anger and resentment builds, leaving you miserable and feeling helpless.

The time is now to start setting healthy boundaries. The Internet is filled with fantastic advice on how to accomplish this in any situation – work, relationships, friendships -- so there is no excuse not to give it a shot. You just need to reach the point where enough is enough.

So jump on the Internet. Learn how to set boundaries. And start setting those boundaries.

And stop being afraid to say no.