Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Saying "Yes" and Saying "No": The Law Of Opposites

February 29, 2024 MaryAnn Walker Episode 84
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Saying "Yes" and Saying "No": The Law Of Opposites
Show Notes Transcript

Are you tired of constantly saying yes to others while neglecting your own needs? Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out from always putting others first?

In today's fast-paced world, learning to say no is a vital skill for maintaining your well-being and reclaiming your time. In this episode we explore the challenges of saying no and offer practical strategies for setting boundaries with compassion and confidence.

Discover how saying no can empower you to prioritize self-care, establish healthier relationships, and find greater peace and balance in your life. If you're ready to break free from the cycle of overcommitment and embrace the power of no, this episode is for you.

Listen now and unlock the transformative potential of saying no. And if you're interested in diving deeper into this topic, feel free to reach out—I'd be happy to send you more resources or discuss how my coaching services can support you on your journey.

Here's to honoring your authenticity and reclaiming your power!

https://linktr.ee/maryannwalker.life

Well, hello and welcome back to inner work with Marianne Walker. That's me. This is the podcast for the empath, the highly sensitive people and the people pleasers. Now I want to first start off by thanking everybody who has left me positive reviews. It really does help me to reach more people just like you. So thank you. And if you haven't had the opportunity to leave me a review yet, I would love a five star rating. And if you have some nice words to say, I would love that too. So thank you so much. So today we're going to be talking about yeses and nos. One of the most common struggles that I see amongst this population. Is that they really struggle to say no. In fact for many people, they feel like that is something that they dread more than anything. They really have a lot of resistance around the idea of disappointing somebody else. And either experiencing their own disappointment that they can't say yes. Or being a witness to someone else's disappointment firsthand. It just sounds horrible. And to be honest with you, I used to feel the same way. I used to think that having to tell somebody no was the absolute worst thing ever. And then I met people that not only made requests that I had to say no to once, but sometimes they would check back in you guys. They would double check to see if anything had changed for me. If I changed my mind or if I've made other arrangements so that I could accommodate them. They made me say no twice. And then I thought, okay, saying no twice is definitely the worst. And then I talked to somebody who recently experienced an interaction where they didn't have to say no once or twice, but thrice, somebody texted them to just triple check on their availability. So while we may think that having to say no to someone is the absolute worst case scenario. The truth is saying no, isn't what is actually causing your upset. In fact, you have actually been saying no. All along. Instead the worst case scenario is that someone, either yourself or someone else will have a negative emotion. So, if you were someone who struggles to say no to other people, you are actually probably very skilled at saying no. You have just trained yourself to only say no to you. And that is a really interesting phenomenon. Because we don't just say yes or no. What happens is when we say yes to one thing, we're actually also at the same time saying no to something else. And so bringing our yeses and our nose into our conscious awareness, it can really help us to minimize hurt and resentment and ultimately better navigate it. When negative emotions arise. So the worst case scenario, isn't saying no, the worst case scenario is that someone will have a negative emotion about it. So we resist saying no thinking that we can avoid discomfort, but here's the thing you are already experiencing the discomfort of those negative emotions. When you say yes to something, when you actually want to say no, some of the negative emotions that you might be experiencing or self-loathing thinking, oh, I can't believe I did that again. Or maybe you're experiencing anger or resentment towards the person that you said yes to because maybe you're thinking, I can't believe they asked me again. Or maybe you're thinking that they should be reciprocating your kindness and they aren't there all sorts of reasons why you might be having a negative emotion. But a negative emotion is actually the worst case scenario when it comes to saying yes. And saying no. And you get to choose who you want to say yes to and who you want to say no to the goal is becoming more self-aware around what each of these scenarios will be creating for us in the longterm. Actually thinking through, if I say yes to this person who and what will I be saying no to. And also kind of flipping that. Okay. If I say no to them, what am I choosing to say yes to. When we consistently prioritize others' needs over our own, we are inadvertently saying no to ourselves. And while it's a noble trait to be kind and to be accommodating, if we make it a pattern to always say yes to others and to always self sacrifice, it can lead to burnout and compassion, fatigue. And that burnout and compassion fatigue. Those emotions more likely than not. They lead to anger and resentment towards the very people that we are trying to love and to serve. Now we have more than likely all experienced that internal struggle. The self-loathing, the resentment, the anger, when we're saying yes to something that we actually want to say no to, and it's as if we're already experiencing the worst case scenario before we've even uttered a word. But remember that every time we prioritize someone else's needs over our own, we're sacrificing our own wellbeing and actually nurturing and making room for feelings of burnout and resentment rather than nurturing and making room for love. Connection and appreciation. And making room for those negative emotions of burnout and resentment. That's a pattern that ultimately destroys the very relationships that we're trying so hard to preserve. It's like when you get on the airplane and they tell you to put your own air mask on first. We must take care of our own needs. If we are going to be able to be of service to anyone else, putting on your own air mask, making sure your own needs are met. That is what is going to make it more sustainable for you to continue to love and to serve and to show up for those that you really love and serve and want to show up for. Right. Learning to sit with the discomfort of disappointing others while we put that air mask on is a crucial step towards reclaiming our time and our energy. And yes, it does take practice. But the rewards when we actually put in the effort. Are immeasurable. For many people pleasers saying no, can feel like an impossible task. Because the truth is we have good hearts, right? We don't want to upset other people. We want to be seen as nice. And we truly do empathize with those that are in need. And these are wonderful qualities. So what can be done when we find ourselves experiencing that anger and resentment to break free from the cycle of overcommitment, it is essential to confront our own fear of saying no. And yeah, it does take practice, but it is so worth it. So reminding ourselves why we are saying no, it can actually help to alleviate a lot of the guilt that we might experience when we do tell somebody now. So for example, Sarah has been asked by her colleague to take on additional projects despite her already full workload. Recognizing that taking on more tasks would lead to burnout for herself and compromise her own personal wellbeing and actually make it a lot harder for her to accomplish the tasks that she's already committed to. Then Sarah decides to politely decline and she says, you know what? I need to focus on my current responsibilities in order to maintain healthy work-life balance. She's bringing it into our conscious awareness, what she would be saying no to, which is her own well-being and her own peace of mind and accomplishing her own personal tasks. If she says yes to someone. Someone else's task. So recognize what you're saying yes. To and what you're saying. No, to think about it for just a little bit longer. All right. Another example, Jane has been invited to attend a social event over the weekend, and she knows that she needs downtime to recharge and prioritize self care. And sometimes that means going out with other people. But this weekend, even though she knows that her friends might be a little bit disappointed if she doesn't show up to the event. She also knows that if she says yes to them, she would be saying no to herself. And saying yes to herself will actually positively impact her relationships. It will help her to be a better friend, a better employee, a better mom, a better whatever, if she actually takes this time for herself. So she's able to recognize that yes, they might be disappointed. And this is ultimately better for all of us. If I take this weekend for myself, it helps to alleviate that guilt. Mark has been asked by his family to host a gathering at his home. Now mark knows how busy his life has been. Right. And that's the thing is we are always the ones that ultimately know what our mental capacity is, what our capability is. So he's been asked to do this thing and he knows he has a really busy week. So he recognizes, okay, now this is an opportunity where I need to actually set a boundary and I need to say no. So mark, Kylie declines, and then suggested alternative arrangements that would allow him to prioritize his mental and emotional health, where he could step away and go and have a break. And the family. We could still get together over here at this location. And I'm sure it would be a lot more convenient for Mark's family. If mark said yes. But mark knows. Okay. I would actually really be resenting my family. If they came to my house, when I didn't really want them there, it would negatively impact my relationships. So even though they might be a little bit disappointed that they aren't coming to my house, then I can know and feel good about the fact that we can have more quality time and deeper connections. If I am not showing up with resentment on day one. Now your brain is going to want to tell you that it is your job to accommodate others. But the truth is that most deadlines can be moved. Other people can be asked to help and different arrangements can almost always be made. It is not all on your shoulders. And just because someone else has made this a matter of personal urgency, it doesn't mean that it actually is. So yes, emergencies, they do absolutely come around and maybe you do want to accommodate in times of emergency. But don't mistake someone else's urgency for an actual emergency. Just take a moment to breathe and think it over. Now, I know that most people really appreciate a text instead of phone calls these days. So even giving yourself just five minutes to wait to respond to that text or that email, it can give you enough time to check in with yourself. And see what it is that you really need in that moment and check in and see, okay. If I say yes to this, what will I be saying no to, and bring that into your conscious awareness that is going to significantly reduce your burnout and your compassion fatigue, because remember, you cannot say yes without saying no to something else. Setting boundaries is an act of self love. So by establishing clear boundaries, we're able to communicate our needs and our limits with honesty and respect. And while it may feel uncomfortable at first saying no, actually allows us to honor our authenticity and cultivate healthier and more balanced relationships. Now I know that for me, it was in the relationships where I didn't say no. And I didn't express that I had my own needs. I felt very unseen. I wanted to have deep connection with others. But it seemed that the imbalance of them always asking and me always doing it, left me feeling unseen, unheard and unappreciated. And now I can see in hindsight that during that season of life, That I was not living authentically. I wasn't being honest about how I was doing. I wasn't being honest about my capability. I, wasn't being honest about my energy level, about my time constraints or about my need for reciprocation. And that is a hundred percent on me. And now that I can recognize that what I truly want is authentic connection. I am now better able to show up authentically. And that means sometimes saying no. And it's really interesting to think about because we think that as we show up in love and service for other people that that creates connection and oftentimes it does. And also saying no, when I was feeling burned out, that would have actually helped me in that time to create more authentic relationships versus creating more transactional ones. So, if you are wanting more real and authentic relationships, ask yourself what you are bringing to the table. Are you being honest about your time constraints and your mental load, or are you placating others hoping that they will just pick up on it and then offer it to help you? Not only is setting boundaries and active love, but it is also a better way to love and serve others. My listeners are the most kind and compassionate people that I have ever met. And they really genuinely want to share that love with other people. They're so amazing and so generous. And I absolutely love this community. And sometimes they think that it's the loving thing to do, to say yes. And so that is how I express love is I never say no. And I always say yes and yes, saying yes to other people can be a way to demonstrate love. But if you find yourself feeling upset, After saying yes, then you are not making room for love. Authenticity and connection. Instead, you are making more room for masking, transactional relationships, anger and resentment. Now I get it that saying no can be hard. So I'm going to share with you 10 phrases that you can use to help you to say no while also honoring your intent to love and to be present for other people. So here's a few of them for you. I appreciate you thinking of me, but unfortunately I have other commitments that I need to prioritize right now. Thank you for considering me, but I'm unable to take on any more tasks at the moment. I am honored that you asked, but I'm going to have to decline it this time because I really need to focus on self care. And I love that one because that's also being vulnerable about what it is that you currently need right now. Another one here is I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully decline your offer. Is it really doesn't align with my current priorities. I've had to reassess my schedule and unfortunately I won't be able to commit right now. I wish I could help, but I'm stretched thin at the moment. And I need to say no. I'm going to have to pass on this opportunity, but I truly do appreciate you thinking about me. Thank you for reaching out, but I have to decline at this time. I hope you understand to see that one. You don't even have to have any reason, right? It's just, I'm sorry. Hope you understand. I can't. Um, another one I'm honored that you asked for my help, but I have to decline in order to take care of myself. I'm going to have to respectfully declined, but I'm happy to offer some suggestions or alternatives that might be helpful for you. Each of these phrases honor, your love for them while also honoring your own time, your energy and your mental health. Your replies don't need to be a lengthy conversation and you don't need to go into these conversations defensively, but just offering up a kind and respectful. I'm sorry, I'm unavailable. And I hope that you find a solution. Now, remember that many people have become very used to saying yes. And so they might come back to double check or triple check and you can have all of these phrases at the ready so that you can tell them no, as many times as, as needed, don't fault them for asking, because they have been used to saying yes. And it's going to take some time for both of you to adapt to you actually saying no to things you want to say no to so that you can say yes to the things that you want to say yes to they're having an emotional response to it or a. An emotional reaction. It does not mean that you have done anything wrong. This is just something that is new and they might have some feelings as they learn to adapt, but you will both ultimately be happier in the long run. If you practice saying no, it can deepen that authentic connection. So one more note before we close is that many people pleasers, they resist saying no so much. That sometimes actually put off giving any response at all. When someone has made a request of them. Essentially, they hope that the other person will just know that they're unavailable and they will find somebody else. But I want you to know that this is not a kindness, so yes. Take your time to respond. And also please respond in a timely manner. It can be a challenge to practicing. No, but remember the, is your intent to make room for more love and connection. And love offers up enough time for them to find somebody else. If you do need to say no. So remember that saying no is not a rejection. It is a redirection of energy towards the things that truly matter to you and focusing more on what you truly want to say yes. To in the moment. It can really help to make saying no feels so much easier. So embrace the power of no. And just notice if it actually deepens the level of authentic connection that you experience in your relationships. And Hey, if you find yourself struggling to say no. And find yourself feeling resentful and burned out and experience that compassion, fatigue come and work with me. I totally get it. And I am more than happy to work with you. So you can click the link in my show notes to apply, to work with me now. So yeah, here's two a week of saying yes to the things that truly matter to us. And then once you recognize what truly matters to you, it makes it so much easier to say no. All right. I hope you have a great week and let's talk soon. Bye now.