It’s important that we attend to our own needs before attending to the needs of others. This assertion may make you feel uncomfortable, particularly if you strive to be loving and giving in all that you do.
But allowing your needs to remain unaddressed while you continuously cater to others is the path toward resentment and bitterness.
MORE IDEAS FROM The Art of Saying No
Aggressiveness is often an impulse. An aggressive person responds in a hostile or inconsiderate manner and often regrets doing so later.
By contrast, assertiveness is planned, thoughtful, and considerate. An assertive person communicates his or her position with clarity while taking the other person’s feelings into account.
The aggressive individual is loud, opinionated, and self-absorbed. The assertive individual understands how to express his or her point of view with grace.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people-pleasers to overcome is feeling responsible for others’ feelings. They fear that saying no will disappoint and anger requestors. This fear prompts them to regularly put others’ priorities ahead of their own.
People pleasers often prioritize others’ needs ahead of their own because they feel their time, interests, opinions, and goals are worthless. I know this from experience. It’s how I used to think. This is a self-image problem.
We have a limited number of hours to play with each day. That means every time we say yes to someone, we’re saying no to someone or something else. And every time we say no, we free ourselves to spend that time and attention on another person or interest.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. The problem is, if you’re constantly saying yes to other people, putting their priorities ahead of your own, you won’t have the time or energy to care for yourself. And you’ll slowly become irritated, cynical, and miserable.
When you give in to temptations, you become a slave to your impulses. The resulting short-term gratification often comes at the expense of long-term fulfilment.
When you resist temptations with declarative statements that begin with “I don’t…” you become the architect of a life built upon healthy intentions.
Being assertive means having the self-confidence to express your needs and wants, and pursue your own ends, even in the face of opposition. It involves telling people where you stand on a given topic and leaving no room for confusion.
Assertiveness is declaring your point of view and not feeling as if you need others’ approval or validation.
It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.
That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.
Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc.
To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no —an art that many people have problems with.
However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship.
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