Modern psychology talks a lot about "setting healthy boundaries," and that makes perfect sense... but for many people, it is easier said than done!
How often have you "gone along" with something you really ought to have said "no" to?
We all do it. Maybe we feel guilty, because the person asking once helped us with something. Maybe it's something we just don't want to do, but we feel uneasy about saying no without "a good excuse."
Saying "no" is difficult for many people, particularly if we self-identify with terms like "being nice" or "being helpful," which we may have been raised with.
Maybe we're afraid that saying no to someone will turn is into a "bad person," in that person's eyes.
There are a myriad reasons why the word "no" makes people uncomfortable.
One of my spiritual Teachers from a long time ago used to say "NO is a complete sentence."
His point was that — as "nice" people — we often struggle with saying no without wrapping that no in an extensive collection of reasons and rationalizations. The underlying issue tends to be that we are concerned about conflict, and the idea of saying "no" essentially revolves around someone wanting something, and you not wanting to give it.
The good news is that we really don't need to whip up a good family emergency as a rationalization for saying no.
If "no" by itself sounds a bit harsh, the best fallback I've found is to say "no, but thank you for asking!" If the person you are talking to follows up with a "but why not?" remember that you don't really owe them an explanation... and that a long-winded excuse will actually rarely make the problem go away. If you must, you can always just follow up with something like "because I don't feel right about it."
Saying "no" takes practice, particularly if you've struggled with it for most of your life. But it becomes easier with time and use.
So learn to say "no" — when appropriate — because it'll make your life easier!
Thanks for reading, and Bright Blessings to all!
You are not alone!
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