Despite what we have been taught or told or shown about saying no to other people’s requests or invitations, we are within our rights to do so when we choose to and no matter other people’s reactions, judgements or opinions, we can be comfortable doing it.
In actuality, however, few of us are comfortable with saying no and those of us who are, have often had to work at it. So, why is this? Is it that we have been raised to put other’s needs before our own, told what kind of a person we are if we let others down, blamed or shamed into doing what other people want or taught no one will like us or ask again if we refuse an invitation the first time around?
Whatever the programming, there comes a point in life when we understand that how we continue from there is a choice. We can choose the thoughts we trust and follow, the feelings we dwell on, the habits and routines we create and the people we want to be. Part of finding out who we really are and honouring this true self is becoming comfortable saying no to things that don’t best suit us in the moment.
This is not to say we don’t make choices for the greater good but that we realise when something is not in our own best interest and we make the choice to turn it down because we respect and love ourselves enough to take responsibility for our own wellbeing and refuse to be held responsible for someone else’s.
Of course there will be people in our lives who see our boundaries and try to pass them anyway, hoping we will change our minds about something or feel obliged to when pushed and this is a necessary part of our development as compassionate, self loving individuals who practice kindness to all and still hold fast in what is best for us whilst being calm about enforcing it with others.
We can trust ourselves. If in the moment we know something is not in our best interests, despite a thousand arguments why it should be or for saying yes anyway, we can go with our initial insight and say no. And we can be comfortable doing it because we are all on our own journey, learning how to be individuals who contribute to a healthy, happy world and the best way we can do this is to have respect and concern for our own health, desires and choices and be comfortable in honouring them by turning down anything else that doesn’t.