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Reflection for Today
It was a relief to stop blaming myself for failing to do the impossible. It felt good to say “I can’t”. Admitting I was powerless, as Step One suggests, released me from the painful chore of being responsible for the world and everyone in it. I do have a power, a Higher Power, who supports me as I make changes to better my life and become a better person, and who gives me directions for the way to remain powerless over things and other people.

Meditation for Today
Help me to realize Your will, for me and others, is wiser than mine.

Today I will remember
Powerlessness is not a weakness; it is reality. ”

Excerpt From: Emotions Anonymous. “Today.” Copyright 1987

This reflection is an excellent reminder that we always have a choice to change our mind. Think about that for a minute. You can always switch directions, change plans, and say “no”. You can say “no” to that extra shift, say “no” to babysitting your brother’s kids, and say ‘no’ to driving your own child or picking them up on a Saturday night.

When I first began to practice saying ‘no’ I felt tremendously guilty. I felt like I was a bad person in some freaky way. I felt that by saying ‘no’, I was not a good employee, a devoted parent, or a obedient daughter. Somehow by refusing to do something for someone else it indicated that I was not the human I should be. And more importantly, I was not the human I was expected to be.

When I gained insight into the idea that “Expectations are premeditated resentments”, it made sense.

In the article, The Psychology of Expectations from it states:

Expecting life to always turn out the way you want is guaranteed to lead to disappointment, because life will not always turn out the way you want it to. And when those unfulfilled expectations involve the failure of other people to behave the way you expect them to, the disappointment also involves resentment.

Let go of expectations and find something to be grateful about, even when things do not turn out the way you hoped, and you will experience serenity rather than resentment.

I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped. —Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim,” 1969

The fact is – you will never make anyone happy all the time. True happiness is your peace of mind and serenity – not someone else- if it compromises yours. Your mental health with lessened anxiety is priceless. You need good mental health and stability to remain an employee, to remain a good and responsible parent, and to demonstrate to your family that taking care of your own health and lessening stress is worth advocating for. You are worth it.

The fact also remains that if saying ‘no’ offends or bothers someone that is not your issue. You cannot be responsible for how someone reacts.

PsychCentral’s Jane Collingwood wrote an article titled, Learning To Say No. Jane’s top tips for Saying No are as follows:

Top Tips for Saying No:

  • Keep your response simple. If you want to say no, be firm and direct. Use phrases such as “Thanks for coming to me but I’m afraid it’s not convenient right now” or “I’m sorry but I can’t help this evening.” Try to be strong in your body language and don’t over-apologize. Remember, you’re not asking permission to say no.
  • Buy yourself some time. Interrupt the ‘yes’ cycle, using phrases like “I’ll get back to you,” then consider your options. Having thought it through at your leisure, you’ll be able to say no with greater confidence.
  • Consider a compromise. Only do so if you want to agree with the request, but have limited time or ability to do so. Suggest ways forward to suit both of you. Avoid compromising if you really want or need to say no.
  • Separate refusal from rejection. Remember you’re turning down a request, not a person. People usually will understand that it is your right to say no, just as it is their right to ask the favor.
  • Don’t feel guilty for saying no to your children. It is important for them to hear no from time to time so that they develop a sense of self-control. It is hard to negotiate adult life without this important skill. Rather than cave in to their protests, let them know who is in charge by setting boundaries.
  • Be true to yourself. Be clear and honest with yourself about what you truly want. Get to know yourself better and examine what you really want from life.

So before you wear that People Pleasing Mask and say ‘yes’, stop and reflect, pause, and just be direct and honest. If you would prefer to say ‘no’ , keep it simple and be true to you.

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