Sisters, Countrywomen and friends, Gather round for I have news!
The time has come to use the most powerful word we were taught to NEVER, EVER SAY…. “No”!
Now before you gasp and tell me I should be ashamed of myself, let me share that before I learned to say “no”, I was a powerless woman whose life did not belong to me because it belonged to everyone else.
Yes, it’s true. Instead of putting myself first and using that word to protect and empower myself, I shrank and let others have their way over and over, and that left me in the danger zone.
Don’t believe me? Let me explain:
As a young girl, I used to let all the boys kiss me because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Yup, I even let the gross kid Curtis J. do it because I felt bad he had no friends. It was great for the boys, but not so good for me.
As a student in college I did the sexual scenes that made my skin crawl because I wanted to please my professor and get that A. I got the A, but myself esteem plummeted.
As a young woman in New York, I took jobs that made me uncomfortable because I didn’t want to lose my income or upset my boss; like that time I was dressed as a Morganette in a dive bar alone in Brooklyn. You get the picture.
And even up until last week I struggled to speak that one tiny word when a person I barely know online asked to FaceTime with me without any explanation of what they wanted other than to “just talk”. And while I knew I didn’t want to do it, I still had to work up the nerve to get it out!
At first I felt guilty, but this time, instead of putting that person before me and doing something that went against my own desires and needs I did it. I said “No!” and man did it feel good.
Before you start looking at me cross eyed and think I’m the only one who has issues with this, let me say that this is something we all struggle with and it’s a topic that comes up with my clients a LOT.
Why? Because we’re taught at a young age to be agreeable and happy. We’re taught to smile and play nicely. We are told to “do as we are told” and to not hurt people’s feelings like my old pal Curtis J.
And because of it, we think “no” is a dirty word. But it’s not! Because if we can’t speak up for ourselves and say “NO”, we end up saying “YES” when we don’t mean it and that always leads to one thing… hurting ourselves.
How many times have you been in a position where someone asks you to do something and while every fiber of your being is screaming “no”, you can’t seem to get the words out?
And then you end up making excuses to rationalize it and explain your way into a “yes” instead, which leaves you feeling angry, exhausted or frustrated?
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