Should “No” be your answer? If you are like many women I know, including myself, we can have a hard time saying “No” when asked to assist, participate, attend, contribute, get involved, and the list goes on. The reasons for being so willing all have great merit. We genuinely care. We genuinely want to help. We genuinely believe we can make that difference. We genuinely think we can do it, so what is one more little thing in the scheme of things? Right? In addition to the many things we say “Yes” with regard to others’ requests, what about the things we convince ourselves that we must do or should do, or we believe we are the only ones who can do them? It is no wonder that sometimes we feel as though we are walking a tightrope of responsibilities and obligations! Sometimes the most positive thing we can do for ourselves and for others is to say “No,” because it opens up a realm of opportunities to say “Yes” that are more gratifying and satisfying. Consider if any of these reasons are in play that make it difficult for you to say “No.” A Need to Please: Being liked is a great feeling, and appearing to be easy going is a likable trait. Being someone that people can turn to also creates a sense of worthiness. However, if you feel that pleasing others and doing what they always want to do is what it takes to be liked and appreciated, then you are in essence not liking yourself all that much. What you want matters too. A Need to Fix: When something appears to be broken, whether it is a relationship or a situation, we say “yes” because we believe we can fix it. Being willing to step up to help is most certainly worthwhile, however, the real question that needs to be asked is, “Are you the one that needs to fix it, or is this really someone else’s ultimate responsibility?” A Need to Control: When it comes to a need to control, this is when you are saying “Yes” to yourself in what you feel you must do and have to do, even if it is not what you really want to be doing. No one else’s potential assistance or contribution is being considered because you feel that by being in control, you can also control the outcome, the expectations, and everything in between. In the meantime, you are stressed, running yourself ragged, and not much fun to be around. So who really is in control? The sad reality is, not even you.
pg 14 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2016
A Need to React: When you are a fast-mover and thinker, and also someone who can take initiative at a second’s notice, this can be a double-edged sword. Your fast thinking also gets you to react in ways that may not be best serving you in the shortterm or long-term. When asked to do anything, or when you are feeling an internal push to react immediately, stop and pause just a moment to allow your need to react catch up with what is really occurring. Do you really need to give an answer or have an answer right at that moment? Do you really need to drop everything and handle this particular situation? A Need to be Needed: Pleasing is one thing, however, are you potentially so driven by a need to be needed that you accept responsibilities and obligations beyond what you should be doing? The end result is adding stress and taking away from what you would really like to be doing, causing an underlying resentment and frustration, feeling unappreciated, and yet, craving that need to be needed. Consider this. What are your needs unrelated to anyone else? How can you best nurture these needs? Chances are, the answer is by saying “No” to being needed so much by others. Our free will is among our greatest assets towards knowing and living the life we truly enjoy each and every day. As Judith Sills Ph.D. stated in her Psychology Today article entitled The Power of No, “Wielded wisely, No is an instrument of integrity and a shield against exploitation. It often takes courage to say. It is hard to receive. But setting limits sets us free.” Allow your inner self to guide you and free you, and you will find that when you do say “Yes,” you are agreeing to what truly nurtures, invigorates and delights you.
Bio: Sherré DeMao inspires people around the globe through her monthly columns, weekly Insight eZine and national contributing writing. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. (www.memyselfandinc.com) and 50 Marketing Secrets (www.50marketingsecrets.com) have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must-reads.