Saying No and Establishing Your Boundaries

It is of utmost importance to establish your boundaries to ensure you are not being taken advantage of in dangerous or stressful situations. You must condition yourself to say “no” which can be a very difficult task for most people. However, this will only benefit you and your boundaries. We must not let anyone else decide our boundaries for us, and when someone is crossing your lines, let them know or simply walk away. Never feel sorry for cutting someone off because they were advancing too far into your boundaries and comfort zone. With that said, here are some healthy tips to say “no.”

Why do we say “yes” to everything?

We often say “yes” to not come across as lazy, disrespectful, or uncaring. “Yes” is often the automatic response when someone is asking for a favor or a task, and we often can feel guilty for refusing them. Saying “yes” to everything is definitely a learned behavior, conditioned from when we were children. We often seek love, attention, and privilege and associate the word “no” with being punished or scolded. As we grow up, we are encouraged to be helpful, nice, and caring to those around us. But to what extent?

The Dangers of not being able to say “No”

It comes at no surprise that there are dangers and perils if we can’t refuse something. This could allow you to be manipulated by those who are sneaky and mean, leading to unintended consequences for both you and those around you. The more times we let situations slide and accept it immediately, the more people will take advantage of you. There is a fine line between kindness and being TOO kind. We must establish our healthy boundaries and learn to say “no” when we aren’t comfortable.

Tips to Saying “No”

  1. Just say it. Don’t dodge the statement or beat around the bush.

  2. Be assertive and courteous. Don’t fight back angrily and cause a fight if it is unneeded.

  3. Understand people’s tactics (in terms of advertisement or manipulation)

  4. Set boundaries within your own relationships and see where you feel comfortable

  5. Be firm in your statement.

  6. Don’t be afraid to say no. It is just a word, and don’t ever feel guilt for prioritizing yourself and your health, both physical and mental.

It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important- Steve Jobs


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