My mother always told me to stay firm on the ground and know what I want. She taught me to be strong and stand up for myself. My father always taught me to be respectful, especially to those older than me. He taught me to be kind and to always use my manners when speaking to someone of higher authority.
Although both of my parents were correct in their teachings, where is the line drawn between being disrespectful and standing firm to what I want when saying no to others?
As a people pleaser and someone who cares maybe a little too much about what others think, I have struggled with saying no or anything that contradicts another person. If you are like me then you know what it is like when someone asks if you want to go do something with them and all you want to do is go relax at home, but you say yes to spare their feelings.
Taking Care of Yourself vs Being Rude
The fine line between taking care of yourself and being rude can be very tricky when saying yes or no to others.
For example, let’s say a friend asks if you would like to go to dinner after work and you say no. You could be saying no because you do not want to spend money, you can’t afford to eat out, you want to go home and relax after work, or you would just rather eat at home.
While you are just trying to take care of yourself, your friend may see you as being rude. They could potentially see you as neglecting them, not wanting to hang out because you no longer like them, or just being rude.
Saying No is Self Care
Saying no to someone is okay. As time has gone on I have had to grow and learn that it is okay to prioritize myself at times. Saying no does not mean that you are a bad person, and it doesn’t always mean that the other person will be offended.
As humans, it is in our nature to care about what others think about us. It is perfectly okay to do things for yourself every so often and not feel guilty about it. What we forget to remember is that most times the other person will not be upset, offended, or angry. When you tell someone no it does not always mean that you are being disrespectful to them.
Remember to take care of yourself, prioritize your mental and physical health, and don’t be afraid to say no.
As some people say, the worst someone can say is no. Therefore, once you say no, nothing more has to happen or will happen at all. As my parents always said, stand strong and be respectful to others, but care for yourself as well.