If someone wants to do something, they can say yes, and, if they don’t, they can say no. Both of these words are going to be important; one word won’t be more important than the other.
When someone can use both of these words, there will be no reason for them to have the tendency to ignore their own needs. Being able to pay attention to their own needs is also going to have a positive effect on their wellbeing.
The Right Approach
They will treat themselves with respect, and this is something that other people will pick up on in one way or another. It will be clear that they are not willing to neglect themselves just to please another person.
Clearly, if they were to do this, it would create the impression that they don’t really value themselves. Consequently, there would be no reason for other people to respect them either.
Most of the people in this person’s life are also likely to be able to use both of these words, too. So, when one says no, it won’t be as though this is something that these people are not familiar with.
There will be moments when these people don’t want to do something, thus, they won’t expect one to always say yes either. This doesn’t mean that this won’t annoy them from time to time; what it means is that they will realise that everyone has their own needs.
If one didn’t have their own needs, there would be no reason for them to say no to other people. Instead, they could say yes all the time and it wouldn’t have a negative impact on their life.
One would then be nothing more than an extension of others, which would mean that other people would know what is best for them. But, as they are a separate human being and their needs are not always going to match up with someone else’s needs, they will be times when they have to say no.
If they end up in a situation where another person is unable to accept their decision, there will be no need for them to cave in. The other person could try to make them feel bad or even threaten them, for instance.
In this case, they will be able to stick by what they have said and to walk away if it is necessary. There is the chance that this person lacks boundaries, with this being the reason why they are unable to respect another person’s boundaries.
The Best Option
If they had said yes, it may have allowed them to avoid pain, at least in the short-term. Even so, this would have caused them to overlook their own needs, and there would have been other consequences.
Not only would they have done something that they didn’t want to do, but they would also have paid the price emotionally. Their self-esteem would have taken a hit, too, and this may have made it harder for them to respect themselves.
A Different Experience
When someone finds it hard to stand their ground and to say no, it is going to be normal for them to do things that they don’t really want to do. They will be used to neglecting the most important person in their life – themselves.
Therefore, even though they are an individual, it will be as if they are merely an extension of others. They will do whatever they can do make sure that they meet others people’s needs, whilst disregarding their own.
Someone like this may often find themselves around the wrong people, along with doing things that they would rather not do. This will have an effect on their mental and emotional health - it might even have a negative effect on their body.
Behaving in this way is going to make it incredibly difficult for them to feel good about themselves. If only they could start saying no, it would give them the chance to gradually transform their life.
An Automatic Reaction
What they may find – if they were able to take a step back and to look into why they say yes without considering their own needs - is that behaving in this way is what feels comfortable. If they were to start saying no, they might end up being overwhelmed with fear.
Ergo, saying yes all the time will have a negative effect on their life, but this will be seen as being the lesser of two evils. If they were to take an even deeper look into what is gong on within them, they may find that they fear they will be harmed and/or abandoned if they listen to their own needs.
It might be hard for them to understand why they would feel this way, but, what this is likely to show is that it wasn’t safe for them to listen to their own needs during the beginning of their life. Perhaps this was a time when they had to pay attention to their caregivers needs.
A role reversal would then have taken place, whereby they had to behave like a caregiver and their caregiver’s behaved like children. This would have stopped their developmental need from being met.
If someone can relate to this, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.