“A woman without boundaries is void of peace.” – Unknown
Previously I wrote a Woman Without NO in her Vocabulary. I talked about not being able to say no and the effects of it, such as having a limited amount of time to do the things that you enjoy doing. Also, the difficulties of trying to please everyone around you and not being true to yourself.
3 examples of saying no at work, to a friend, and yourself.
Saying NO at Work
Saying no to a boss, manager, or supervisor can be difficult, especially if you feel they will retaliate against you. Still, it is necessary to keep the peace within yourself and in the work environment.
On one Saturday, my coworker called out again, and my boss immediately text me to come in early. I had plans for the day before I had to go to my shift. When he texted me that day, I was in the park enjoying the weather. I saw the message and started to think about my boss needing me to work. Then I thought about how much I needed me. I decided to ignore the message and enjoy my time outside. It wasn’t long before I got more messages from him, demanding that I come in, and I begin to think about how I am letting my team down. I had won employee of the month that month, and I thought if I say I no, it will erase all the good things that had been commented on me that month. I eventually told him no and the worst things that I imagine did not happen. I felt free. My manager message about more issues at work, and I let it be, and I got the work done even though I arrived at my scheduled shift time. I had time to care for me and my needs. Which that day, I need a nap and plenty of sunshine. I didn’t have to beat myself up or stretch myself thinner.
What I learned was that saying no meant that I had more time for me. By taking care of myself, I was able to be happy about work instead of angry for coming in early, even though I didn’t want to come in. My boss may have been mad, but it doesn’t compare to me being mad at myself and beating myself up for not saying or doing what I needed to do. His frustration with me is temporary, but frustration with myself could lead to more negative thoughts about myself, which I really didn’t need.
Saying NO to a Friend
Saying no to a friend can be challenging. Sometimes you don’t want to mess up a relationship or being liked is important to you. I get it. I have a fear of being left because of me being myself and telling people when to stop. It’s difficult if you never tell people what your limits are in friendships. It is vital to have no in your vocabulary to keep your peace of mind.
I have a family friend who always asks me for something, and in the past, he would make me feel guilty, and I would do what he asked me to do. Recently he did what he always does. He asked me for something, and I decided that I didn’t want to do it. This day was the first time I told him no and stuck with it. Of course, there was some backlash about it. He told me how I hurt his feelings and was trying to take me down a long guilt trip. I ended up telling him I am not responsible for his feelings about me, telling him no, and that he is responsible for his feeling about it. When I was driving home, I thought I was a bad person for saying no, and I should do what he asked. I didn’t tho. Undermining yourself, I believe, weakens your voice. Telling him no was the hardest thing I have ever done but worth it. He treated me like I was wrong for changing, but I saw it as a compliment. It meant to me that I am growing as a person and using my voice.
The lesson learned was saying no doesn’t make you a bad person or friend. It makes you stronger and able to be a good person and friend when you are okay with yourself. I said it earlier, but I want to repeat it. It is important to not wavier when you say no by giving in. Yourself respect is your responsibility. Meaning what you say is key.
Saying No to Myself
Saying no to yourself may not sound like it is needed in life, but I think that it is necessary. Internal boundaries I believe keep you safe and working towards your goals. Internal boundaries can be on the food you eat, the thoughts you have, and actions you may do. Saying no to yourself is hard to do but sometimes needed.
I struggle saying no to eating junk food to cope with my feelings. By placing limits on what I eat helps me stay healthy. Another boundary I have to work on is the negative things I say to myself. Both of them I am used to doing, but they don’t provide peace in my life. Instead, it leads to depression episodes for me. By telling myself no, the hope is I don’t lose my functionality in my life.
We all are worth taking care of even when it doesn’t always feel that way.
No is such a powerful word that helps to keep peace in your life. I like the way Dr. Henry Cloud explains boundaries. He said, “boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end, and someone else begins.” It’s important to know who you are and what you are responsible for in your life. When it comes to having internal boundaries for yourself, it helps you to stay out of negative mindsets and allows you to stay strong in your wellness goals for yourself.