It’s an eternal conflict. We all think it every day. “If I don’t say yes he/she won’t want me around anymore.” So you suck it up and do whatever anyone asks of you just to “keep the peace” and hope that one day people will return the favour.
Well I’m here to tell you, if that’s your motivation, that day will never come.
The first and for many people, most difficult step, in getting what you want out of life is learning how to say no to things you clearly don’t want. Trust me on this, your true friends will respect you for it.
I’m not saying that you should now go back on every promise you ever made. I am still a firm believer in following through on your commitments. But what I am saying is, think before you commit. And only commit to things that you can honestly do without causing harm to yourself. If you start to feel out of your own control and in the control of other people it’s only a matter of time before you lose all sense of yourself. When that happens you will just be drifting through life waiting for the next person to call on
you to help with their next crisis.
And even if you aren’t the doormat type, be honest, you have one in your life and you might even consider them one of your best friends.
They are the opposite of “fair weather” friends. They are what I call the “crisis hotline” friends. They are the people we can count on to always be there when we need help. We often look at them as the salt of the earth but we never stop and think about what it does to them or what their motivations are for always being there for us.
This is a two way street and I’m talking to both sides here. Not only do the doormats need to learn how to say no, the rest of need to recognize when we are using people a bit too much and learn not to lean on one person more than they can handle.
I’m not saying this won’t cause any conflict. I’m not saying to the doormats that by taking the time you need for yourself you won’t cause other people a bit of hardship. And I’m not saying that every time you ask for help you’re using someone.
What I am saying is its okay to say no once in a while. And hearing a no from someone close to us might mean that we’ve asked too much (or too often) and it’s time we broaden our circle of people we can count on.
If we’re not careful the people we count on to be there for us will go from friendly and welcoming to somthing a bit more like this;
Trust me, nobody wants that…