Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

NoMany people are scared to say “no because they were taught to be nice sand think it’s not nice to turn people down. Both women and men say they feel obligated to agree to requests. Yet they don’t like feeling that way! When I ask why they don’t say “no” when they want to i9 hear versions of:

•    “I want people to see me as a nice person.”
•    “I was brought up to be nice to everyone.”
•    “God wants me to be kind to everyone.”
•    “I don’t want to lose my friends.”
•    “I’m scared the person I say ‘no’ to will get angry at me”

But there are many reasons that it’s nice to say “no”—nice to you!

1. You get more respect from others. When I was on Oprah, she asked the audience what they preferred—being liked or being respected? Almost everyone chose liked. People like you more when you’re agreeable! And colleagues will respect you more when you’re not a pushover. You’ll get approval for positive reasons by saying “no” when you feel it’s best for you. And you’ll earn respect.

2. You get more respect from yourself. Being a people pleaser can make you feel badly about yourself and your inability to say “no”. People tell me they feel shame about always being acquiescent and giving. Saying “no” makes you feel good about you, and empowered!

3. You have less negative emotions. Saying “yes” to everyone creates anger, frustration and disappointment about feeling used, taken for granted, or ignored when you need help. Those feelings are not nice! Saying “no” gives you less reason for having these emotions so you’ll feel happier.

4. You get to do less things that you don’t want to do. If you hate volunteering, you don’t have to. If you don’t want to play chauffeur to everyone, you don’t have to. Saying “no” gets you out of doing what you don’t want to do.

5. You’ll feel powerful. When I began to say “no”, I felt uncomfortable and it wasn’t well received. What I call poison word darts—selfish, b*tch, etc—were hurled at me when I turned down requests. I ran back to the “security” of being agreeable until I recognized the manipulation in their words and how unfair it was to call me names just for saying I couldn’t help them. That was a powerful moment.

6. You have more time for you. Saying “no” to someone says ”yes” to your needs. The first time I told someone I couldn’t help them, I was excited to have an evening for me. I enjoyed planning how to spend my time. It made me realize how important it was to say “no” and leave more time for me. We all deserve me-time!

7. You’ll have less stress. It can be stressful to try to fit in everyone’s needs. And if you’re tired you don’t have to run to do what someone needs. So you’ll have more time to relax.

8.You learn who you’re true friends are. You’ll see who’s friends with you for what you do for them and who likes you for you. A real friend still likes you if you don’t jump to do what they ask for.  People who you say “no” to may pull away from you but your real friends will accept your right to say “no”.

9.You’ll stop feeling like a DoorMat. DoorMats are scared to say “no.” it’s a lousy feeling to feel like you get used and don’t get support when you need it. Controlling how often you say “yes” can help you leave DoorMatville. It’s s a grat feeling to take control of your need to please!

If you want to start saying “no” more often, read my 10 Tips for Getting Comfortable Saying “NO!”
You CAN do it! I was a scared wimp when I did and if I could get “no” out of my mouth, you can too! Each “no” will motivate the next one when you see how great it feels.

Join The Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment“I commit to do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small, for the next 31 days. and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2014 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook. Watch the video made with Hoobastank’s song–The reason–that illustrates the power of self-love.

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