It’s OK to Say NO in a Relationship

Sound familiar? You’ve said yes and immediately you begin to regret it, feeling annoyed with yourself for yet again saying yes when you wanted to say no. So, what do you do, you start thinking up excuses to try and get out of it but something stops you, it’s guilt, yes your guilt has you keep your word. 

But I want to let you into a little secret, it’s ok to say no in a relationship!

So why do you say yes when really, you mean no? Why is setting boundaries problematic for you? Well here are just to name a few…

· you want to help people as you hope people would help you

· you are a person of your word

· you are people pleaser

· you fear that by saying no you may lose the relationship with that person

· you want to avoid a possible conflict

When we allow people to do things that are not okay with us, we become resentful. We have this tendency to believe that setting a boundary means we are being rude or pushy. That we are cold individuals. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

Setting boundaries is how we uphold our values and practice self-care. When we put our needs first, we can show up 100 % in our relationships. Without boundaries, we only build resentment and have unstable relationships. Resentment builds because we give our power away by overextending ourselves, allowing people to say and do things that hurt us and by not speaking our truth. 

Saying no doesn’t mean that you are being unkind, selfish, or rude. These are just unhelpful beliefs which are making it difficult for you to say no. Beliefs most likely adopted from your early years. Maybe as a child, if you said no to your parents, it was considered impolite or even rude. Simple but impactful. 

We hold onto these childhood beliefs and unconsciously continue to associate no with being unkind, rude or selfish, and so we opt for yes instead. But now as adults, we have the right to say no and not feel guilty. 

Here are some tips to help get you started with feeling comfortable in saying NO.

  • Take your time with giving a response – “I need to think about it” or “I’ll get back to you, I need to check with my partner/in my agenda”.
  • Check-in within yourself “If I say yes am I denying myself something”?
  • Show gratitude before you decline. i.e. “thanks for asking but I am unable to join”.
  • If you’re struggling add a but onto your yes. “yes, but I will need to check if I’m available”

Play around with each of them and see what feels good to you and then practicing, the more you practice the better the progress you shall make. 

Time to reach out? 

Do you want to feel confident to say No? To respect your needs without feeling guilty, but need support to get you on your way? Why not check out my new coaching package; Empowering boundaries for women. No more saying yes when you mean no!

Rachel Goss is a Life Coach at Thought Performance Coaching. Rachel is a compassionate, caring and insightful Life Thought Coach. She is passionate about supporting people to step out of suffering and limitation and step into fulfillment. With her support and guidance, you connect to your inner wisdom, unleash your true potential and optimize your emotional well-being. Experience inner freedom and see your life through a different lens. Read about her Creating Healthy Boundaries coaching program.