There are so many thoughts and emotions wrapped up in the word, “no.”
When we say “no” to other people it can come from a multitude of emotional places – from anger, sadness, compassion, frustration, confusion – the list goes on.
When we say “no” specifically to the people we love the most, we can get caught in a mental battle with ourselves. Will I hurt them by saying no? Will they stop loving me? Will they think I’m selfish?
I’m here today to tell you to let go of the emotional and mental shackles of saying no.
My friend, if there is one thing I want you to hear today it’s this: sometimes, saying no is the highest form of self-love that you can show yourself.
Part of the EpicLuv process is educating and inspiring my clients to understand what their body needs, what they want, and teaching them to be comfortable within their own skin to say “no.”
That is joy for me – when I see my clients standing up for themselves. And being their own best advocate for what their mind, body, and soul needs.
However, getting there…the ability to say “no” easily and without personal guilt…is difficult.
Saying “yes” to someone else is so much easier and rewarding. “Yes” gives feelings of being loved, accepted, and belonging. But it’s a fleeting, short-term reward. Because so many times, saying “no” is at the detriment of your own health and wellbeing.
The Positive No
Psychology Today recently wrote an article on how saying no to others is saying yes to yourself. They share how, when you realize and have the power to recognize that a “yes” answer would harm yourself more than it would help another, to lean on the “positive no.” This is summed up as:
- (Internal) Yes. Yes to your values. Yes to what’s important to you. You first clarify for yourself and then for the other where their request meets you.
- (Positive) No! Your no comes from a deep sense of respect for yourself AND the other. You hold on to yourself and announce what your boundaries are.
- (External) Yes? After refusing the request, you try to further the relationship by finding a win-win or compromise that will go toward your partner’s emotional bid and deepen the relationship.
The benefits of saying no to others but yes to yourself are wide and deep. They include gaining respect from the people you love, setting healthy boundaries that align with your true-self, removing a “victim” mentality, and enabling you to design your life as you see fit to accomplish the personal goals that you have.
I encourage you to find areas in your life where you have been saying “yes” too many times at the consequence to your own self-love. Then, when you’re ready, let’s explore together the steps you can take to start saying no.