Accept that saying “no” isn’t a crime
I finally accepted that I’d still be a nice person if I became more selective about doing favors and that I was entitled to have my needs met too. It meant not putting all my time and energy into others. At first, I proudly forced “no” out. It felt uncomfortable and wasn’t well received. What I call poison word darts—selfish, nasty names, etc.—were hurled at me when I turned down requests. I ran back to the “security” of being agreeable until I realized the manipulation in their words and how unfair it was to call me names just for saying I couldn’t help them.