I’ve recently thought about the importance of learning to say no. In the past, I have spent needless time and energy doing things I did not want to do and saying things I did not want to say. Not to mention spending time with certain people that did not make my heart sing. This is because I am a pleaser by nature. I know the drawbacks and I know the joys.
I must say there is far more joy in pleasing when you want to. You feel motivated, creative, and filled with energy. When you say yes and really want to say no, your stress level climbs. You have less energy and a feeling of resentment cascades over you. You, sweet reader, are emotionally punishing yourself.
During a discussion on the topic with two close friends over lunch, we came to a conclusion on why women do this. We decided women say yes because of the fear of rejection and what others might think.
As women 50+, we’ve decided it is better to feel rejected than to do things that we don’t want to do. The price we pay is too high. We have learned the importance of saying no.
I continued by asking them why they’ve said yes when they wanted to say no.
Here are their answers:
- Saying yes made them feel like a good person
- They were uncomfortable saying no
- They like to please
Am I touching on a nerve, sweet reader?
The next morning, I thought more about it. Of course, I did so as I climbed into my rain forest shower, where I do some of my best thinking.
When I got out of my shower I ruminated further as I went through my daily rituals. I smiled as I toweled dry then covered my body with my favorite body cream, La Mer. Then I spritzed myself with my favorite perfume Baccarat Rouge 540. Next, I swiped on my new Tom Ford red lipstick, Rouge a Levres Matte 38, Night Porter. I turned on my Hawaiian music and, if I could, I would have whistled a happy tune.
Why was I filled with joy? Because more often than not, I am able to say no. I learned through my failed experiences that relationships that matter grow stronger when you are true to yourself. Saying no helps you establish healthy boundaries and enables your family and friends to have clarity about what they can expect. Being honest and authentic creates healthy relationships.
The Importance of Learning to Say No
When you fully understand that saying no is a positive force and saying yes, yes, yes, is very negative to your health and wellbeing you will have your “ah-ha” moment.
Here are a few helpful tips to start you on your way :
- Please yourself first
- Listen to your heart, it knows
- Love yourself
- Be selfish
Here are a few sayings to use when you want to say, no:
- Thank you so much for considering me. I cannot take anything else on.
- I wish there were two of me!
A few more thoughts:
- Don’t beat around the bush or give weak excuses. Be courteous but assertive
- Set personal boundaries
- Put your needs first
- Don’t make excuses
- Don’t feel guilty
- Make a counteroffer
We all want to live a wise, savvy, and valuable lifestyle after 50+. It is not always easy. I have found my hard lessons have boded me well especially when I take the time to examine why I fell. I still have lots to learn and a few habits to break. What keeps me going when I fall…the saying, “I know I can. I know I can.”
If I can, you can.
Do you have any tips on how to say no when it’s hard? Please share in the comments at the bottom of this page. I love hearing from you!
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