Healthy boundaries - The power of No

Improve your self esteem

Here is a really quick tip for reducing stress for those who are too nice: Say ‘No’ more often. Particularly if you are someone who finds it difficult to say ‘No’ for fear of hurting or letting others down. Someone who likes to be seen as nice or helpful. The kind of person people love to talk about their problems to, in detail. You’ll recognise yourself as someone caring. Will tend to put others first. 

You’ll also be someone who doesn’t have a long queue of people dying to return such kindness. If you are - and there are many of us out there - pause for a moment and reflect on why it is that you give so much more than you receive? Are you really delighted at this one way relationship? isn’t there even a tinsy bit of resentment? 

Is it because you are a really nice giving person?  Be honest with yourself about what you get from being so accommodating. While you’re asking...ask what you really need.

Of course, being accommodating doesn’t have to be anything extreme. Especially at work, it might look like being competent and hard working. Always saying ‘Yes’ to your boss when a new task is handed to you even though your to-do list, desk, inbox and bladder is at bursting point.

Or saying ‘Yes’ because you fear the consequences of saying ‘No’. The problem with saying too many ‘Yeses’ ...apart from the unfairness of it that it is stressful.  A nice ‘Yes’ person tends to get dumped on from greater and greater heights until they learn to say ‘No’, have a nervous breakdown or leave. If you leave and get another job the likelihood of repeating the same pattern is probably high. If you have a nervous breakdown....well we won’t go there. How about saying ‘No’? 

‘No, that doesn’t work for me’. 

‘No, that doesn’t feel good’.

‘No, that’s not my responsibility’.

‘No, I have too much to do already’.

‘No,........(whatever.  No need to be defensive or tell a story. Keep it short)’.

‘Sorry, no’.

‘No, sorry’.

‘No, sod off’.




‘No’ is a complete sentence (Hurrah, to whoever said that). It may have an immediate and immensely powerful impact on your level of stress and self esteem. 

Ok, I won’t lie...some people might like you less but who needs to be surrounded by takers? I believe you deserve better people in your life so make room for them by saying ‘No’ when you really want to say ‘No’.  Start with one ‘No’ a day with something small and build up from there.

You will feel stronger as you act on your personal boundaries. Contact me if you want help with setting personal boundaries.


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