Not saying no when you wish you had can be poor for you and your anxiety. Learn why it’s important and how to say it when you want to.

Learning to say no is definitely a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you want to go out/be sociable/not look like you can’t handle extra work. But on the other hand, you give away your valuable time that could/should be spent relaxing/having time to yourself.

Making time for yourself is as important as curbing loneliness. Getting the balance right is much harder, though.

How do you balance your ability with saying no with the need to feel included and a part of things? It can be tough for some people. I know this as I used to be one of the worst for it! I just couldn’t say no to anyone. I didn’t want to let the other person down, and more importantly thought for some reason that I might offend them.

It’s important to realise that you aren’t going to missing anything by saying no.

Then, they’d end up hating me and accuse me of always letting them down.

True story – I lost a good friend for this very reason. They told me that I was always letting them down when all I was doing was changing the plan. This ate away at me for years, and developed a poor habit of not saying no because of it. There was much more to it than that – but it still sticks now. The conversation with her left me in tears that time.

Not saying no when you wish you had can be poor for you and your anxiety. Learn why its important and how to say it when you want to.

Why learning to say no is important

For me, not saying no when I wanted to would lead to extra stress and anxiety on a temporary basis. When you’re agreeing to things that you don’t want to you are subconsciously putting someone else’s feelings and actions before yourself. I know that most of the time you just want to be nice and help out others, but you need to think about yourself now and then too.

This feeling can turn into resentment and anger (both at yourself and the other people involved). Self-sabotaging comes to mind too as I write this. It can make you feel like you’re worthless, and that’s exactly how I used to feel.

It’s not selfish, thinking about yourself sometimes. For some of you, I know you might find it difficult to put yourself first. I find it extremely hard, so completely I understand. But this is where you can start.

Making time for yourself is as important as curbing loneliness. Getting the balance right is much harder, though.

Something worth thinking about is that you don’t want people walking all over you. There are some people in this world that take advantage of nicer people out there. They expect things from you and know that you’re unlikely to say no. tHis isn;t good at all. You definitely don’t deserve that and that is why this post is going to come in handy for you.

When you should be saying no

The first step to getting the courage to saying no when you actually want to (maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed right now) is to figure out what you fall down on.

For example, are you always saying yes to going out with friends but actually can’t afford it? Or how about wanting to have a night in by yourself (maybe you’re an introvert like me) but you’re being pressured into making plans? Maybe you have too many commitments already but feel like you’ll miss out?

You might be free and that’s great, but what do you want? Would you rather stay at home in comfort or be around people? Does said opportunity fill you with anxiety at the very thought?

All of those examples are moments where you want to say no but struggle. 

Not saying no when you wish you had can be poor for you and your anxiety. Learn why its important and how to say it when you want to.

It’s important to realise that you aren’t going to missing anything by saying no. You can’t be everywhere all at once. Your physical and mental health are important too.

So, once you know where it is you are struggling, the next is to get a plan together. I talk about planning a LOT. Only because I know that it helps me. I know that not everyone is a planning freak like me, though! But if there’s one time when you do plan, make it this time.

The important thing to remember is that you are worth it

Write down all of your commitments to start off with. Is your schedule busy? Are you over-committing already?

Spending some time thinking about what you’re up to will help you process your own thoughts. Honestly, self-reflection works so well in figuring out where you can make improvements.

How to do it

For me, still telling someone that you don’t want to do something terrifies me. I absolutely hate it! But I now know that I’m doing it for me, and putting myself first for once in a while. It helps to have an understanding fiance though I guess!

But, if you’re worried about upsetting someone and want to know how to say the word without offending, here are some ideas:

Do:

  • Thank them for suggesting the opportunity but politely decline – being polite helps diffuse any upset and shows them that you are thinking about their feelings too
  • Advise that you can’t make it this time but could re-arrange for another – this way you’re being considerate and are leaving it open for next time
  • Say you’ll get back to them if you aren’t sure – This gives you time to consider your full response and feel confident when saying it
  • Explain the reasons why you’re turning them down – Being honest about your situation will come across in yur response

The important thing to remember is that you are worth it.

Don’t

  • Leave them hanging – If you decide to some of the above where you get back to someone, make sure you do. Otherwise it’ll eat away at you and make you feel worse!
  • Let someone else dictate your life – stay true to your word and don’t let someone else talk you around.
  • Overthink – Don’t let your anxiety question your thoughts and make you back down. Don’t let your anxiety make you change your plans just because it’s easier.

Spending some time thinking about what you’re up to will help you process your own thoughts

Saying no really is a loaded statement. There is so much more to it for those with anxiety, too. Having a constant struggle with yourself over telling someone no is reeally hard work. But, if I can learn to say no more often, so you can you.

The important thing to remember is that you are worth it. You deserve to be happy too and that means you don’t need to pander to everyone all of the time.

You can do it!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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