We all know that one woman- the one who is always willing, always ready to help out.
– “My babysitter quit and I have 30 minutes to get to a meeting, can you please help me? –“sure”
– “My car broke down, can you help me shop for another one?” –“yes”
– “Can you help me with my taxes?” – “yes”
Sometimes we call these women mom, and sometimes they’re our besties- I like to call them self-appointed Superwomen.
Self-Appointed Superwomen are amazing, strong and we are lucky to have them- But just like every superhero, even Superwomen have their kryptonite. Saying “yes” in excess can often lead to increased stress, anxiety, resentment and unhealthy relationships.
Self-appointed Superwomen often feel guilt when they say “no”. They may falsely believe that if they don’t help, no one else will. They may have unrealistic expectations of themselves; feeling responsible for the happiness or wellbeing of others. Some may lack the self-worth to prioritize themselves.
Here are some ways to practice saying “no” and to begin to prioritize yourself:
- Increase Self-Care- When we begin to prioritize ourselves, we practice self-love and begin to understand that we “can’t pour from an empty cup.” Self Care can be taking a 15 min walk or watching your favorite show- as long as it is something that fills you up.
- Take the “S” off your Chest (Props Danielle Langford)- Give yourself permission to let go of the responsibility to solve other’s problems. You are not responsible for other people’s happiness or wellbeing.
- Give yourself time- Instead of saying “yes”; ask “can I think about it?” Then, evaluate if the request is something you can manage. Ask yourself how you feel about completing this task. If you’re feeling resentful or angry- it’s time to say “no”
- Create healthy and strong boundaries- The toughest people to say “no” to, are the ones we love. Be open about how you’re feeling, let your loved ones know if you feel stressed or overworked. Helpo empower others to resolve their issues instead of relying on you.
- Be Firm, Be clear and remember, No excuses needed when you say no!
Saying “no” has benefits such as feeling empowered; it can lead to higher levels of self-worth, increase productivity and can help manage stress and anxiety.
Check out The Centered Life Women’s Empowerment Workshop which goes into greater detain on the importance of learning to say no.
Valerie Spiropoulos, LCPC