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How to develop the courage to say the n-word (no)

How to develop the courage to say the n-word (no)

This is for all my fellow people pleaser out there.

I sense that you probably opened this post astonished and eager to learn how to develop the courage to say the n-word (no) so hopefully you find my personal stories and tips very helpful. I know some of us are suckers for pleasing everyone around us, always willing to say yes to everything so that all can love us. The truth is, we don’t want to say yes all the time but, we can’t help but feel bad when we say NO!

My personal story and struggles being a people pleaser

I have had to put myself in many unpleasant situations because I didn’t dare to speak up and say exactly how I feel. A few years back, a friend of mine asked to borrow some money from me. I knew I didn’t have that much money to give away since I planned to use it to pay for some of my classes. Guess what I did, I gave the money to my friend and left myself hanging simply because I couldn’t speak up by saying”no, I plan to use the money you are asking for to pay my tuition.” Eventually, I was able to pay my tuition after several weeks of zero payment from this friend and working extra hours.

Here is another story for you guys. Many years ago, I was in a relationship that I didn’t think was ever going to work out. It was somewhat toxic to me because I was unhappy and I knew it would be in my best interest to break it off but, I was unable to express my true feelings. Instead, I stayed in the relationship until it became unbearable and he had to break things off with me. I wish I dared to say “no, I don’t want to be with you anymore, I’m not happy, and I need to move on”. After a few months of thinking, I decided to see it as a blessing in disguise and a lesson well learned. I have learned how to speak up for myself at all times and use the “n” word (no) when necessary.

Below are some general tips that I used to achieve the courage to say no and always put myself first.  It was challenging for me to attain but, I am very proud of myself for continuing to say no when I feel it necessary to do so.

First, you have to put yourself first at all times. Self- preservation comes a long way if you want to be happy with yourself and everyone around you. People pleasers like myself, always want to make everyone around us very happy that we forget about ourselves. By putting yourself first, you can say no when the request does not fit your current situation or desire.

Second, you have to learn how to stand and speak for yourself. Sometimes as a people pleaser, we forget it is okay to say, “let me think about it and get back to you.” You don’t have to give a definite answer the minute someone asks you for a favor.

Third, set a time limit for yourself and when you feel comfortable enough to give a definite answer. I had a big problem with this step because I always thought I had to answer immediately to make the other person happy. By setting a time limit for yourself, you actually have more time to think about your decision. Write some pros and cons on a sheet of paper if needed.

Fourth, consider if the person asking for a favor is taking advantage of your kindness. Sadly, a lot of people try to be manipulative by taking advantage of a people pleaser and not giving anything in return. Remember you are not their lord and savior so don’t feel obligated to be their hero and helper. And always consider if it is worth your time and energy before agreeing to anything.

Fifth, Do NOT give that person asking for a favor a reason to think that you can do it later. Don’t give them any explanation as to why you can’t do what they are asking of you. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be any less empathetic when you give that person the no answer but, don’t feel like you need to explain your reasoning to them.

I hope my tips help anyone who struggles with saying no when it necessary for them to do so. Remember that you can still be a very caring person without having to make yourself uncomfortable or unhappy. Always put yourself first.

Don’t forget to share and comment.


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