Here's how to start saying NO.
You're the type of person who always tries to make sure the people around them are happy. You try to hold the door open for the person behind you, and are always willing to go to a friend in need at the drop of a hat.
There is nothing wrong with being a kind person. In fact, it's something we should strive for: to be nice, kind and considerate people. Being kind is good for others and it's good for ourselves!
But there is a fine line between being a kind person and being a pushover, and it's sad to admit but the line gets crossed often by people who want to take advantage of our giving nature.
After a while, you can find yourself always being the one to do everything for your friends and family, being expected to help no matter what your plans might have been. What's worse, we often won't say anything because we're afraid we will offend someone.
But enough is enough. We have to band together to help stop ourselves from being pushovers and here are 3 ways to help set boundaries, so people are less likely to abuse our kindness:
1. Work your way up to firmer boundaries.
Don't suddenly decide, "I think today I will start saying no to everyone." Because let's face it — that will never stick, and you will lose your resolve after some time.
Instead, choose one area to be resilient in. Start with saying no to strangers or acquaintances, or say no only when someone's request involves you cancelling other plans you made.
Baby steps toward boundaries will help you stay strong without totally overwhelming you.
2. Let them know how you feel.
This does not mean going from being a pushover to exploding all of your emotions everywhere. Letting a bubble of emotion build inside of you that will eventually explode is not good for you.
You need to express how you feel in a calm and collected way so that they can understand what bothers you. It might be hard at first, but it'll be worth it.
If they don't know you're upset, they won't know to try to stop it.
3. Understand that "no" is not a bad word.
No doesn't mean that you hate this person and it doesn't mean no forever.
It means this one time, you can't drop everything you're doing. And that's ok.
Sometimes we need to think about ourselves and prioritize our own happiness and well-being.
Otherwise we start to resent helping others and that's not good for everyone.