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  • Writer's pictureEmma Coyle

The Difficulty of Saying 'No'

We feel that we have an obligation to do what is asked of us, to go in and 'rescue.' But is it always the right thing to do?

Put simply "No."

Of course helping others is important to our relationships with them and to the world at large but what impact is always saying "Yes" having on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being?

Being able to set healthy boundaries is key. You need to take time, space and energy for self-care. This allows you to pursue your own ambitions and create the life you want as well as be able to offer your best self to family and friends.

Whilst setting boundaries is difficult, it allows us to focus on what is truly important to us.

1. Reflect on relationships in which boundaries need repair

Does this happen most often with a particular person?

Do you notice it more at work or at home?

It can be useful to write down how you are feeling and reflect on your priorities and goals so that you can make the right choices about where you most want to spend your time.and energy.

Do you want to spend more time with family? Do you need to set aside more time to exercise or for self-reflection?

Once you have identified your priorities and goals, work out how much attention you currently devote to these areas. Could you reallocate some of your time and energy to these areas by putting in place limits in others?

2. Remember to give yourself time to decide what is best for you

If you're asked to do something you are unsure of, you do not (usually) need to give a response straight away. Instead try saying:

"Let me get back to you" "I'll think about it but I need more time"

3. Know that you have the right to say "No" if you want:

Perhaps saying something along the lines of:

"Thanks for thinking of me, but I can’t commit to that right now" "Unfortunately that's not really going to work for me"

4. Be experienced to feel a level of discomfort when saying "No"

You may feel guilty and worry that you're being selfish but setting boundaries enables you to be more present, genuine and generous with others and yourself.

When we value self-care we set a positive example to others, giving them the freedom to do the same.

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