Being a people pleaser for most of my life, I have long struggled with this concept of saying no.
When I directed my first show in 2008, I learned to say it nicely. It went something like this,
“I am the director and in my vision, I see it this way so this is how we will do it.” When I directed my third show in 2010 I said it with more force and it really tested my ability to please. In that case, I pleased myself and our audiences greatly. Looking back, I see that as a great victory.
In 2011, when planning our wedding, I had to learn to say it all over again and to people I loved and cared about but it was the end of the people pleaser as a default response.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get occasional bouts of “I don’t want to make anyone mad or hurt their feelings” but I am able to quash those impulses fairly easily when thinking about the pain it will cause in the long run by saying yes, or going along and going along till you just can’t take it anymore and you say NO, I WILL NOT DO THAT. It’s much better to let someone know up front that you do not want to do what they want you to do. I am not advocating you start bellowing NO at everyone you know but realize that you have a finite capacity of things you can do and things you can not do or more importantly do not WANT to do and say no accordingly.
The only way to get what you want is to ask for it. You can’t hope that it will magically happen because someone read your mind and sees your deepest hopes and desires. Learning to say no, is honoring yourself before others. It is one of the skills I am proudest of developing.
Now, here is the hard part, let me ask you. Who or what do you need to say no to today? Do it!