Say Yes and Feel Good About ItJun 23, 2022
No, I'm okay.
Three words that defined a large part of my life, before I realised just how damaging they actually are.
Do you need help? No, I'm okay.
Is there anything I can do? No, I'm okay.
I hope I didn't upset you? No, I'm okay.
Being so afraid of rejection, of not being liked, of being judged for not being able to cope, made me the Queen of "No, I'm okay."
All my fellow people pleasers, raise your hands if you can relate!!
Thing is, when we constantly say, "No, I'm okay," we are really telling ourselves that we are not worthy of saying yes, or being more than okay. That other people are more important than we are. That it doesn't matter if we are actually not okay.
Okay becomes our best case scenario. And you know what? That is most definitely NOT okay.
When we are constantly in the space of looking to appease those around us and put their needs first, we are acting out of fear. The fear of not being good enough, or rejection, or not being liked are all extremely comfortable in people pleasing behaviour. People pleasing looks like being overly agreeable, doing everything for everyone (not unlike our controlling tendencies, but with a different underlying intent), and constantly apologising for things. Most people think that saying no is the difficult thing for a people pleaser, but actually, saying yes can be even more difficult.
Yes, I need help.
Yes, you can do something.
Yes, your behaviour upset me.
Saying yes to any of these things can feel deeply uncomfortable for those of us who are used to people pleasing, but they are also better for us AND everyone around us.
When we don't allow others to help us, or themselves, we disempower them. We literally take their power away and tell them that they cannot solve their own problem. This includes those moments when we are upset by someone else. By saying "yes, you upset me," we are giving them key information that empowers them to check in with their behaviour and decide whether it serves them to repeat it, or change it. Saying, "yes, you can help me," is the equivalent of saying, "yes, you have the power to make a meaningful difference here," which cannot ever be a bad thing.
If you are a people pleaser, take a moment today to look at where you could say yes more often. Not the "yes, I can do more," or "yes, I will do that for you," kind of yes, but the kind of yes that sounds more like, "yes, you have power here too, and I would appreciate your help," or "yes, even though you may not like hearing it, I was upset by your behaviour."
Saying yes can be deeply empowering for everyone involved, so if you're a people pleaser like me, lean in. Saying yes creates opportunities to please people in other ways, and leaves you feeling better too.