It’s OK to Say No

There is this thought that has been plaguing me this past week.  It has come up a few times during conversations with different people.  The topic isn’t directly discussed but the context of it is there.  It is something that should be glaringly obvious but you tend to only see it out of the corner of your eye.  Like a bad smell it can permeate every aspect of your life.  I’m talking about being able to say no and backing yourself up.

I am a recovering yes-person.  When someone asked me to do something I would pretty much always say yes, even if I didn’t want to.  I would get this feeling of mild panic building up inside of me and would have all of these worst case scenarios rushing through my head of what would happen if I were to say no.  Reflecting on these experiences, I think my becoming a yes person was caused by a mixture of wanting to avoid hurt feelings or confrontations, and not wanting to be perceived as a bad person.  Over the past few years I have gotten comfortable with saying no and find that I am much happier for it.  To my surprise, none of the worst case scenarios I dreamed up have ever come to fruition.

What has changed over these years that has made me shift from being a yes-person to becoming a person who can say no? My husband is a big factor.  He has no problem with telling people what is on his mind.  He has constantly encouraged me to voice my feelings and stay true to me.  By doing so, I have developed a sense of respect for myself that wasn’t there while I was growing up.  I have realized that I am allowed to have these feelings, whatever they may be.  I cannot control how other people will react or feel and I cannot base my life around worrying about it.  I’m worth it to be able to not say yes when I really want to say no.

Everyone is worth more than backing down from how they feel just to keep the peace.  Everyone is worth more than a life of empty yeses.

Are you a yes-person?