We all do certain things we don’t want, but have to do… this is normal. It’s dangerous, however, when we begin to overwhelm ourselves with commitments we are not obliged to make. And sometimes it’s about extremely serious commitments like staying in a relationship or even getting marrying and have children before we are ready just to avoid causing disappointment.
The truth is that saying ‘no’ is very hard for many of us. We want others to like us, we don’t want to deceive them, but to justify and even surpass their expectations.
There is, however, a very significant problem with this behaviour — these people can’t preserve themselves, psychotherapist Dimitrina Mitreva notes. “They very often take the role of a victim,” she adds. And when they get into this role, they actually have the expectation of everyone else to react in the same way. This leads to huge disappointment faced almost every day. They begin to feel betrayed and neglected, always giving to the others and never getting something in return, Mitreva explains.
Yes, it’s true that sometimes by saying ‘no’ we could hurt someone’s feelings, or disappoint someone we admire. At the same time, however, whenever we make unwanted commitments, we build rage and regret, which can also lead to negative self-perception — a step towards restlessness and depression.
Every time we say ‘yes’, we actually say ‘no’ to something or someone else. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to set and defend our boundaries.
There are a few important things to consider if you have decided it’s about time to learn to say ‘no’.
First of all, you need to be clear about what your values and priorities are. Only this way you can choose what you really want, instead of being guided by the expectations of others.
You also have to listen to your body. Before you answer to someone’s request, ask your body. Does the proposed activity suppresses you, make you feel tired or cause you a headache?
You also need to know who you are, and more importantly, who you are not. This helps you judge correctly what you can, what you can’t and what you don’t want to take as a commitment. Of course, absolute denial is just as harmful as constant consent. We must remain open to new ideas and opportunities.
Feeling guilty because we think we are disappointing someone by saying ‘no’ it’s common. The truth, however, is that being honest with the people around us is a better strategy in the long run.
And another important thing — do not feel obliged to give explanations. When you just don’t want to go out with colleagues or go to dinner, say that you can’t make it and don’t think of an appropriate excuse. Besides, the other person may not be looking for it.
When you practice saying ‘no’, change the “can’t” or “not now” phrases with “don’t want to”, because if you sound uncertain, the other party naturally sees the opportunity to start negotiations.
Today we live with the perception that if we want to succeed in life, we must always say ‘yes’ and be available all the time. The truth is that one succeeds after learning to say ‘no’ and preserving themselves.
Watch the interview with psychotherapist Dimitrina Mitreva on the “Beauty Avenue” show to find out why a person allows to become a victim, how to set boundaries and say ‘no’, as well as why this is essential for our wellbeing.