"I remember the last time I had to hang up with a bunch of people i wasn't comfortable around with. I totally despise the situation. At times, it's still hard for me to say no and to set a boundary for myself. And I wonder why these situations happen every time."
Do you have the habit of saying 'yes' in reflex to a request before you process and understand it? If yes, you are not alone. And our children might find it hard to take time to wait and think before answering a request.
There are these people who struggle with setting boundaries. They are the ones who usually sacrifice their needs and always compromise their priorities to please others for acceptance.
Develop a healthy practice of saying 'no' when the heart says so. Promote the idea of saying no to situations that are uncomfortable and make children conscious of their boundaries. Staying true to themselves and standing up for their needs comes out when they are self-motivated.
People are trained to say 'Yes'. This propagates an idea of self-submission for pleasing others, and as a result, their self-esteem is at risk. We have internalized and are trying to feed children the message that a good person in any responsible role always says yes. From where do these unhelpful misbeliefs originate? Analyse it, find it, and let them go. Do not believe and entrust your relationships and personal life on such ideas.
'NO's evolving from childhood.
The 'No's we are saying today have evolved from our childhood. The primitive 'No's we practiced saying has put up the foundation of self-respect and legitimacy. Teaching your child 'no' is an acceptable answer, and saying it does not make him or her less-loved. When you and your child have got different opinions on something, communicate it right and naturally. Respect their opinions and value their needs.
This does not mean doing everything your child wants. Your little champ should know how to respect people and deal with disappointment.
Raising kids with honesty and authenticity is essential, not who can behave.
Saying 'NO' – A sign of respect
Saying yes to a person when you don't want to, will lead to indignation. You will start feeling bitterness about the relationship, and it would end up bad. Saying 'no' to a situation or a person when you think that's right indicates your respect to yourself and to that person, as you are being honest and authentically yourself. You keep it all at a good phase. So while saying no, at the right time, you are fostering that relationship and might inspire others to maintain healthy boundaries with you and each other.
You are not being rude.
Saying No is not rude! If you feel like you are being rude and mean, expressing what you are and your needs, you are not doing anything wrong. Let kids grow brave enough to say no. Teach them, their emotions and intuitions are valid. We are raised as people-pleasers and are groomed continuously to behave. Saying NO is considered impolite. Never let this idea transfer to children. Correct them if they think so. Cultivate healthy relationship practices and help them to set personal boundaries.
Teach our kids the language of No
Teach them to deny politely. Replying with, "I would love to.. but I doubt", "I want to help you, but I can't," "I am sorry, I can't make it".. are some polite ways to use. Children might not understand the 'Why' in others 'no's. Make them know it's okay not to understand the 'why' always. And they need not have to explain 'Why' to others after a No in all cases. It doesn't mean you are not responsible for helping them debrief after a no. Ask them questions like, 'How do you feel,' 'what was the positive outcome after saying no?'
To summarize, we need to put a lot of effort wisely to raise our children capable of creating and maintaining their boundaries and successfully keeping healthy relationships. Be yourself a role model to them by realizing the power of 'No' and practicing them effectively.
'Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place' (Paulo Coelho)
*Image source: FreePik