Whoever told us saying “no” is rude, wrong, mean, bitchy, and selfish caused a lot of harm. We caused even more damage when we believed it and followed it like a religion.
When we say “no” to another person because that’s our truth, we are giving ourselves the respect to speak our truth, and we are showing respect to others to let them know what’s true for us is. We provide them with the honor to invite them to see our true selves.
The more deeply you care about a person, the more comfortable you should be in being your true self around them, and the more you can expect to be honest with them when you do want to say “no.”
Want to test how authenticity you have set up your relationships?
Notice how difficult it is for you to say no to them—if it’s hard, it’s likely you are afraid they won’t care for you if you say your truth. It’s also possible “you” don’t care for “yourself” when you tell your truth.
Our relationship with others reflects our relationships with ourselves and vice versa.
If you are inauthentic with others, you will be inauthentic with yourselves. It’s one thing to trick others into thinking we are whom we are not, but when you start tricking yourself, you run the risk of forgetting who you are.
Make no mistake about it, when we say “yes” when what we really want to do is say “no,” we are saying ”no” to ourselves. Say “no” to yourself enough times, and you condition yourself to become an inauthentic, fake, surface,
Do this repeatedly and for many years, and you will lose agency over yourself—now you live to figure out what others want from you, and you just do that.
As you keep practicing and perfecting this inauthenticity and dishonesty, you will naturally start seeing yourself become—more anxious, depressed, and passive-aggressive. You also set yourself up to get hurt and offended very quickly. You can start to think others owe you to behave a certain way or treat you a certain way because you have (secretly) sacrificed your authenticity to please them.
The pain and confusion you may feel are because you have lost connection with the most essential part of you, your authentic or true self.
Now, there’s no theme to you, no map to you that you can use to navigate the ever-changing landscape that your life is. When people and situations demand you to be someone else, there is no anchor, no core that guides you back to whom you actually are.
Consider an organization with disengaged leadership and a disconnection amongst its departments—that’s similar to the kind of chaos you cause when you say a blind “yes” without consulting your “self”—and all the different parts of you—can cause.
You may start thinking you are experiencing all of these violations because of others, the truth is you have made the core violation.
This is good news.
You can choose to change this orientation to life whenever you feel you’re done with this experience of life and ready for a new, better life experience.
If you love and cherish your relationship with someone, protect it by being honest about saying “no” to them when it’s true for you.
If you love and cherish your inner peace and want to have a fulfilling life experience, be honest with yourself and listen to yourself when you want to say “no.”
It’s no one’s responsibility but yours to live every moment of your life as ‘you’ and not as a version of you that’s convenient for others.
Love, joy, and fulfillment are already inside you—it’s yours for the taking—embrace it. It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself—that’s what true self-care is.
Sanya Bari @sanya.bari
Therapist, Coach, Relationship Expert, & Lifestyle Blogger
SHE Magazine USA