Stylemama here with a few questions for you…..
Can you say no? When you do, do your friends and family accept it?
Thanks to Dr. Phil, we’ve learned that you teach others how to treat you. Uh-Oh, what kind of teacher are you? If you are never caught saying no, then who gets your yes? It’s impossible to say yes all of the time, without inadvertently saying no to someone. Yes to overtime, means no to dinner with the family. Yes to the abusive friend means no to the true friend. We don’t often think about it like that but sadly, the people-pleasers among us say no to the special people in our lives all the time. Hello, my name is Dawn and I’m a people-pleaser. Welcome………
I believe that this is one of those universal topics that most women can relate to. I don’t like saying no. It feels more natural, even safer to just say yes. If I never say no, then I never challenge or place any faith in the relationship in question. Is it safe? Definitely. Authentic? No way.
Several weeks ago, my daughters and I attended a party. Many of the children in attendance take dance and singing lessons together. Nice children, with nice moms, but we are clearly at different places in this journey. Here is what happened as the discussion turned to singing lessons:
The Moms: Our girls just love taking singing.
Dawn: My oldest has asked me if she can take lessons ……
The Moms: Oh! You should definitely sign her up, and she’s not too young to join.
Dawn: I know. Thanks, but that isn’t why she’s not singing.
The Moms: Why isn’t she?
Me: It’s just not the right time, I told her no.
Cricket, Cricket, Cricket……………….
The look on their faces combined with their silence told me they didn’t really understand or agree with my choice. That’s okay, I understood their reaction, and it even illustrates the point I’m trying to make. Sometimes saying no isn’t easy; there’s risk involved. It’s much easier to just say yes than it is to face possible rejection, if we find ourselves unable to deliver.
However, something about turning 35 and watching my 9 year old daughter, Isabelle, slowly pick up my disease to please really shook me. It proved the perfect catalyst to end this destructive behavior. This is one legacy I refuse to pass on to my children. They deserve better; so do you, and so do I. (Fortunately, we needn’t worry about my 7 year old Elizabeth; getting a yes out of her takes a whole different skill set-much more of an acquired talent! You go girl!)
On the flip side, I’ve met very few men that share our disease to please. They seem able to almost effortlessly reply in the negative without all the drama. Theirs is a boundary system that’s firmly established and beautifully held together with confidence, loads of self esteem and that oh-so-lovely feeling……. Peace of mind. Lucky devils. Are they really that much more self-assured than us? What’s their secret? I don’t know, but I think we could be persuaded to take a page from their book and start reading it to our daughters!
I realize that I’ve got a long way to go, but I won’t stop trying. I believe that part of the obvious solution to this hinky problem lies in our self worth. Not only is it time to stop the negative thoughts that we silently repeat over and over in our minds, but also the ones we repeat over and over out loud. Enough of the “I’m fat, undeserving, and not smart enough, conversations.” Instead, let’s choose to carry on about our amazing accomplishments and many, many talents-The last time I checked, the female race was pretty damn impressive!
What do you say? Are you with me?
I will totally understand and respect you, if your answer is NO….