How To Say No Politely - Season 2 Ep 12

Season #2

In this episode of "The Positivity Project Podcast," I delve into the intricate topic of people-pleasing and the inherent negativity it often brings into our lives. I explore the roots of this behaviour, its impact on our well-being, and offer insights on how to politely say no when necessary.

People-pleasing is a deeply ingrained behaviour, often originating from our childhood experiences during the imprint period, which occurs between the ages of zero and five/seven. During this phase, our subconscious minds are like sponges, absorbing the messages from our parents and caregivers. These messages often emphasise being good, quiet, and putting others first as a measure of our goodness. We unconsciously develop a belief that to be good or to be a nice person, we must always prioritise others.

Generosity and kindness are wonderful traits, but when taken to an extreme, they can lead to exhaustion, resentment, and disempowerment. People-pleasers often find themselves in a never-ending cycle of helping others at their own expense, and they may struggle to say no.

To break free from this pattern, it's essential to ask whether the behaviour of people-pleasing serves you. If not, it's time to consider alternatives. One effective method is to create a pattern interrupt. When someone asks for your help or assistance, instead of immediately saying yes or no, respond with "Leave that with me; I'll get back to you." This gives you the time to reflect and decide whether the request aligns with your needs and priorities.

But what if you decide to decline a request politely? The key is to be honest and communicate your reasons transparently. You might say something like, "I'd love to help you, and I know I have helped you in the past. Unfortunately, this time, [insert your reason here]." It's crucial to offer a valid reason that genuinely reflects your current situation.

Importantly, you should also make yourself a priority. Set boundaries and learn to take care of your needs, even if it means saying no to others. If you're feeling overwhelmed or tired, don't hesitate to prioritise self-care. Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup.

Incorporating pattern interrupts and setting boundaries are powerful tools for breaking free from the cycle of people-pleasing. They allow you to maintain your well-being while still being kind and generous when it aligns with your own needs and priorities.

It's important to recognize that people-pleasing is a deeply ingrained behaviour that takes time to change. However, with self-awareness, practice, and the willingness to put your well-being first, you can transform your pattern of saying yes to everything into a healthier balance that serves both you and those around you.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where saying no politely is necessary, remember that your well-being matters, and it's okay to prioritize yourself.



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