Are you good or bad at saying “No” to people?

Am I good or bad at saying No to people? I am getting better! I am a prolific people-pleaser, I suspect it goes right back to school where I was bullied. I didn’t ask to be bullied and I certainly didn’t want to be. I suspect that I learnt that by giving them what they wanted they left me alone or at least eased for a little while. Then it became a habit, the more I ‘pleased’ people and gave them what they needed the more nice experiences I had. When I entered the workplace and said Yes all the time and delivered, I was praised, got a good appraisal and pay increase. At the very least I was touted as ‘go see Stacy, she is a superstar’, which boosted my ego.

Now I have realised that saying Yes all the time, when I really mean No, leaves me with a severe lack of accomplishment, lack of achievement, high stress, deep depression and resentment that I never seem to have my needs reciprocated by those I always say Yes to. I no longer see the value in saying Yes when the sentiment is NEVER returned. Not once.

I have started to say No. It is hard, I won’t lie, I struggle with the feeling of guilt and I have gone back and done what they wanted anyway. But the more I say it, the easier it becomes to deal with their faces and guilt trips. The easier it becomes to negotiate rather than out-rightly saying No.

It is important to strike the right balance. Be helpful and obliging but maintain self-respect and see to your own needs too.


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