Saying “Yes” when we mean “No”
By Dr. Howard Peiper – Path to a Better Life
Saying no can be one of the hardest things to do.
We don’t want to disappoint friends and family, so we find ourselves agreeing to do petty tasks like picking up the neighbor’s dry cleaning, baking brownies for a coworker’s birthday party, enabling a friend and/or relative to continue in their addiction.
Saying yes when we really mean no can be so much easier and less painful than arguing over why we can’t do something. But, it can also set us up for a tough life. Once friends and family get used to being able to lean on us for every little thing, they won’t really make much of an effort to take care of themselves.
To make matters worse, there are some mean spirited people who will exploit our generous nature and inability to set limits by insisting that we complete all the daily tasks they should be more capable of doing. These people will push us to our limits until we have no choice but to change our phone number or move out of state.
While taking extreme measures may seem out of order, there are much easier ways to stop people pleasing and reclaim our time for ourselves:
- Learning to be assertive and put our foot down is the first step. Being assertive doesn’t mean aggressive. There are nice ways to be assertive and stick up for ourselves without offending. Simply learn the power of the word “no” and we can reclaim our time and space. Once we learn to put limits on what others can expect from us, they’ll stop asking. While this may seem hard, it’s as simple as saying, “No!”. If we prefer to soften the blow, we can use a more polite saying like, “I wish I could, but…” and then explain that we are doing something else. Don’t be swayed by sob stories or irate rants. Our time is just as valuable as anyone else. So don’t give in.
- Demand self-reliance from our family. Teaching our children and family to be self-reliant is the greatest gift we can bestow. Even very young children can perform basic household task like dressing themselves or finding shoes and socks to wear. Once our kids are away in college, they won’t need to wait around for someone to take care of them (co-dependency). Teaching self-reliance will empower our family to make the right decisions and trust in the choices they make.
- When someone asks us to do a chore we don’t really want to do, we might say, “I’ll add that to my list of things to do”. Once the person realizes that we’re not just going to drop everything we’re doing to take care of them, they’ll most likely recant.
- Another useful phrase to learn is “Isn’t there someone else who can do that for you? Or I really don’t have time!” Make sure the person making the request understands how valuable our time is. Whatever they say, our final answer should still be no.
- Set boundaries. Don’t be swayed by relationships. While it might be nice on occasion to do a favor for our sister, mother-in-law or cousin, we wouldn’t want to make it a regular chore or we’ll end up devoting more time to taking care of other people than our own family. Most adults are fully capable of doing their own chores. Expect as much self-reliance from our extended family as we would from our own children.
- Most people who ask favors from friends are simply looking for a handout or freebie. They’re too lazy to do the task themselves and see us as an easy target. And, they’ll put more energy into trying to convince us to do the task for them, rather than devote the same energy to solving their own problems.
Remember, it is OK to say NO!
Howard, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written numerous books on nutrition and natural health including 12 best sellers.
Create a Miracle with Hexagonal Water
New Hope for Serious Diseases
The A.D.D. & A.D.H. Diet
Zeolite Nature's Heavy Metal Detoxifier
Viral Immunity with Humic Acid
The Secrets of Staying Young
Nutritional Leverage For Great Golf
All Natural High Performance Diet
Natural Solutions For Sexual Enhancement
Super Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
Books can be ordered at:
Safe Goods Publishing.
Dr. Peiper is co-host of the award winning Television show, Partners in Healing. They feature guest in the alternative healing field including such names as Harvey Diamond, Dr. John Upledger, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Gary Null and Dr. Marshall Mandell.