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How to say no

Original article is at How to say no

This article titled "How To Say No, For The People Pleaser Who Always Says Yes" sheds light on the people-pleasing tendency that leads to constantly saying yes at the expense of personal needs. Natalie Lue, a coach for people who struggle with people-pleasing tendencies, suggests that this habit can result in suppressing one's true self in an attempt to constantly please others. It's a behavior observed not only in pushovers but also in perfectionists.

Lue highlights the importance of self-awareness and proposes a changeable habit approach. One method involves gathering data on how you spend your time and energy over a week and observing the frequency of your yes, no, or maybe responses. This can reveal patterns and stress triggers, leading to a better understanding of situations where it's comfortable to say no. This practice serves to highlight the roots of people-pleasing behavior, often stemming from old trauma or as a coping mechanism developed in childhood.

Understanding and respecting your personal bandwidth is crucial. Assess your energy level and examine your schedule for signs of overcommitment leading to feelings of entrapment and anxiety. Saying yes should be aligned with personal desires, not out of guilt or obligation, which can lead to resentment.

Practicing the "pause" before an immediate yes is effective for assessing the nature of the request and managing any anxious thoughts that might drive people-pleasing behavior. Furthermore, mastering the art of saying "no" involves understanding the difference between a "hard no" and a "soft no." A hard no is clear and direct, while a soft no provides more explanation, though it should be limited to avoid confusion or further requests.

By implementing these strategies, people-pleasers can start to experience a shift in their behavior and feelings, helping them realize that saying no does not lead to catastrophic outcomes. Instead, it promotes healthier interactions and a better sense of self-respect and personal boundaries. In conclusion, while people-pleasing is a common habit, it's also changeable, and with the right techniques, one can learn to say no effectively, benefiting their emotional and mental health.