As women, we tend to have a caring, nurturing heart. We’re so sweet and always willing to give a helping hand. We go out of our way for others without thinking twice and ultimately spread ourselves thin. Overall, we do way too much and sometimes get little to nothing in return.
But there comes a time where you have to say that one word that could give you more “me” time, less stress, and more energy towards your own priorities. A simple word with only two little letters that’s so hard for a lot of people to say, but can benefit you in the long run–NO. We need to learn to say No like we were Beyoncé backup singers, I mean, a part of Destiny’s Child, “No, No, No!”
As I’m getting older, and having enough responsibilities of my own, I’m learning that I need to implement “no” into my vocabulary a little bit more. Sometimes we go above and beyond for our family, friends, and coworkers. Sometimes we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings so we put our own feelings aside and say yes to something we would have preferred to say no to. Sometimes it gets to the point where people start expecting our “yes” and are highly disappointed when you hit them with a curve ball and say, “no.”
Saying no can alleviate a lot of stress and worry because we need to learn to stop making someone else’s problems our problems. We need to stop worrying about what someone would think when we say no. We need to learn to put our feelings and needs first.
I remember watching an episode of Girlfriends and yelling at the screen, “Yaaaasss!!!” because I could totally identify with Joan’s character (for more reasons than one). But on this particular episode, Joan went to a therapist and she had the following conversation:
Joan: “How do I keep people from walking all over me?
Therapist: Learn to say No.
Joan: If I say no, then they’re going to hate me.
Therapist: Until you learn to say no, you’re going to keep lying to yourself.
Joan realized she was an enabler and her saying “Yes” to others was actually making her say “No” to herself. Once she learned the magical word, “no” she ended up having more time for herself. She was more confident because she stood up for herself and not let people depend on her so much. She gained respect and people were no longer willing to walk all over her. We always want to be a good friend, sister, lover, or mother but need to know when we take on someone else’s responsibilities then we are actually saying No to ourselves. Enough is enough.
In essence, most of us want to be there for others and that’s totally okay. But if you think you will be inconvenienced in a major way by saying “yes” then just say no. Or you can say, “That doesn’t work for me” or “Let me think about it” if you’re unsure about your decision. It’s the same people that we say yes to all of the time who would trip when we say no; let them trip. They will get over it. They will find another way and you will still have your dignity.