From a young age, I was taught to say no to drugs. I was taught to say no to peer pressure. I was taught to say no if I was uncomfortable in any situation. I am so grateful that I have learned the power of the word no under these circumstances. However, as I am getting older, I have learned that no not only has the function of protecting oneself; but, no can prevent somebody from becoming overburdened with unnecessary stressors that build up over time.
I have a serious issue in my life, and that issue is the fact that I am at everybody’s beckon call the second that they need me. I feel that I need to show everybody that I am capable of doing any little task or favor, whether it is tedious, petty, or minute. So, I end up saying yes to everything. Why is that an issue you ask? Well, simply because it is hurting me in the end.
Somebody needs me to take their shift at work? Okay. I will drop everything and take the shift. Oh, somebody needs a favor from me? Why not? It’s only one favor, right? Oh, you need me to clean your table? Of course! It’s not like I am just getting over the flu, and I feel like one of the zombies on The Walking Dead. The cycle keeps continuing all because I am unable to say no. I am incapable of taking the time to do anything for myself because there is always something that somebody needs me to do. At the end, I forget my never-ending to-do list, putting my engagements on hold.
The funny thing is sometimes I do try to say no — but, people don’t take it seriously. They laugh. Because the idea of Danielle saying no is so absurd. At the end, I am guilted into saying yes. I guess I just fear that I am going to let someone down if I don’t give into what they ask me to do.
This may sound a little harsh, but I have to tell everybody something I have been trying to say for a while. NO! No, I will not do your job that you are perfectly capable of doing. No, I will not be able to teach a workshop at 7 am after working until 2 am for my job.
Being a pushover has pushed me to my limits.
Since I have put everybody before myself, I have gradually dug myself deeper into a hole. Everybody else stands at the top of the hole, and I hold the unwanted spot at the bottom, sitting in darkness: a black pit. Being under so much stress to make everybody else happy has made me unhealthy; now, I am the one suffering and immersed in the consequences.
Right now, I think I am learning that you cannot make everybody happy; as appealing as it sounds to be the person that people rely on — the apple of their eyes — it is not always a great thing. The one thing about me is that I am a people pleaser. I will do a petty favor for somebody without even a thank you in return. I will go out of my way to help people who wouldn’t give me a helping hand if I needed one.
Please don’t get the wrong message. I am not saying do not help the less fortunate, don’t go out of your way to assist others, or don’t be a good person. All I am saying is, don’t be a pushover; you do not have to say yes to everybody all of the time. You also need to put yourself first before you make yourself sick. Stress has side effects, and I am learning that now.
There is more to being a genuine, helpful, good person than saying yes to every command and request. I guarantee you, people aren’t going to hate you for saying no every once in a while. And if they do, do you really need them in your life anyway?
So, I am going to get some balls, and give out a plain big NO!