Last week we talked about setting personal boundaries, such as your emotional boundaries, physical boundaries, mental boundaries etc.When your personal boundaries are strong, you will feel powerful, self assured, confident with yourself and feel happy.
One of the many ways to enhance your personal boundaries is to learn to say “NO” and mean it. By this we mean the right “NO”. There can be a right time to say No.
Have you ever experienced when you are running around trying to fulfill everyone’s wishes, needs and wants except yours? When someone needs something, do you just drop everything you are doing and help that person instead?
If you are running after others, soon your energy will be drained. You will be feeling frustrated as your own work is always on the to do list and everyone’s wish list is being fulfilled. After that resentment will creep in…
If the above description sounds familiar, one thing you have to realise is that there is a good possibility you brought this onto yourself. I myself am guilty of it many times, and now I am very aware of the ramifications.
There may be many reasons for not wanting to say No to people:
- Fear of offending someone, especially the elderly or someone in a senior position
- Fear of conflict and confrontation – that person might be angry and hurl retaliation for they thought you were challenging them or not respecting them
- You prefer to conform and toe the line, because it is too hard to challenge the system
- You just want to be helpful
- You want to please that person – seeking their approval
Here is one example when I don’t know how to say No, and I am sure many of you will relate to this:
My friends know that I work from home, so naturally when they phone my home I will most likely pick up the home phone.Then there will be a long chat. I am guilty many times, as working from home can be quite lonely, and chatting with friends can be quite refreshing and entertaining. That’s precious time on the phone rather than working time, and I would often later kick myself for it.
After learning the hard way, I now have my answering machine on and return calls later in the afternoon or when I have some time for my friends.
Saying NO to friends is not about rejecting, disliking or creating conflict with them;it is about respecting yourself and your time. By you respecting yourself, your friends and other people will in turn show the same respect to you.
It is OK to say NO! It is a way of respecting and loving yourself. Remember, self love is NOT selfish!