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Doing something to make your partner (or any other loved one) happy is fine – so long as you feel happy about it too. In all other cases, you need to remember these 6 essential things about saying ‘NO’.
I meet many women (yours truly included) who’ve confessed to me that they were extremely happy and confident before they fell in love, got married or got into a relationship. They’ve painfully described how they did things for their partners just to make them happy. I started to wonder, why does this happiness not sustain? Why does it fade? Are we really doing it to make them happy? If yes, why does this oh-so-loving gesture start to crumble and become so suffocating after a point?
Here’s how I see it: when we try to please someone else, unless we feel happy, it’s not a gesture of love; it’s a brutal compromise that explodes after a while. Initially we convince ourselves that it’ll only be this one time or two times, but post that, it’s a habit. Not a happy one, but a monotonous one.
So very often I’ve been judged for believing in the concept that unless you don’t place yourself first even if just to make someone else happy, you’re deceiving them. I don’t blame them. That’s exactly how society has been. Them before me! Even though this may work very well in the short them, in the long term, it never does. To make someone happy is such a beautiful feeling and gesture, but if there’s a part of you that’s unhappy about it, no matter how hard you try, you tend to eventually break hearts – your own and those of others included.
Be extremely honest about this one – how often have you said no to your partner or loved one just because you needed to give yourself the priority and after saying no, didn’t feel guilty about it?
Not many times and in most cases – Never! Look. I understand it’s never easy and there isn’t a blueprint for you to follow. Relationships are tricky and its not just about you and your partner; this is about all relationships – friends, colleagues, boss, parents, children, clients, and this can keep going on…
I’ve had my fair share of people pleasing and trust me, it doesn’t do anyone any good. They aren’t happy after a point and you certainly aren’t happy. Then why go through so much?
Saying no doesn’t mean you’re selfish – Nope! Nope! It doesn’t! You don’t become selfish if you say no. It’s not about saying No – it’s the way you say it that makes all the difference in the world.
They won’t mind/feel bad or think ill of you – They won’t feel bad as long you as you don’t sound mean or rude. Just say what you want and they’ll understand.
You aren’t saying No to them but what they need – This is a big one. You aren’t saying no to them. It’s about what they need. This shouldn’t make the other person feel uncomfortable. It almost never changes the dynamic in the relationship. Unless you say no to someone creepy (and in that case please feel comfortable to say no).
If it’s not comfortable, don’t do it – You’re probably not ready or it just doesn’t feel right to you. In that case feel comfortable to say no. Most women feel uncomfortable to say no just because they don’t want their partners to dislike them or get angry. But it doesn’t work that way. So please feel comfortable and talk to your partner about what’s happening. Explain your discomfort. This applies in all relationships.
You don’t need a reason at all – Look sometimes I’ll say no just because I want to stay at home all day, eat junk feed and binge-watch something. No excuses needed. No explanation needed. You can say no and not explain.
Say yes to yourself and no to others – Do you even for a minute think about your feelings when you say No to yourself? Nope! But you kill yourself, torture your mind heart and soul if you’ve got to say no to others. Now try this – each time you face a situation think about what your heart and mind or better yet, what your gut tells you. If it’s an instant yes – wait a couple of minutes and ask again, if it’s a yes then go for it, if it’s a no – listen to your gut!
So, here you have it – 6 important things about saying no, that you absolutely need to keep in mind. As opposed to what you’ve heard and learnt, saying no doesn’t have to be rude, passive or submissive. You can say no in the way that feels right to you, sends your message out directly and doesn’t disrupt the relationship.
First published at author’s blog
Image via Unsplash
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A Psychologist, Blogger, Entrepreneur, bibliophile, stationary buff. Love writing, poetry, coffee, An introvert and dreamer.
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