Especially when you’re not used to it, setting boundaries with people can be difficult. A recovering people pleaser myself, I’ve struggled a lot with it. And specifically with saying no.
It can be scary to say no to someone. You might hurt someone’s feelings. They might get upset. Even angry.
However, it’s crucial to say no to people, especially when they want something that would come at too great cost. Make you too unhappy. Or threaten your health.
You must say no to people.
And as hard as it has been for me to work up the courage to set a boundary, to say “No, I’m not willing to do that,” I can honestly tell you that I’ve never regretted doing it after the fact.
This isn’t because it always goes well (although many times, it does). In fact, sometimes it goes completely shit-tac-ular-ly.
Saying No Reveals People’s True Natures
The reason I don’t regret setting boundaries? It’s because it is NO and not YES that reveals people’s true natures.
Truly kind and caring people can deal with a reasonable no. Sure, they might be disappointed. But they understand the need for you to protect and take care of yourself, even if it isn’t always convenient for them.
But selfish people? They lose their shit when they’re told no. This could be lashing out with attacks on your character. Or a guilt trip. Or any other number of ways.
It can be confusing, too, because maybe this person has always been kind to you. Never said a harsh word. And you say no once, and suddenly you’re selfish. It can give you pause since it’s so out of character for them.
But the thing is? People tend to look alike so long as you are saying yes to everything they want from you.
When we tell people no is when we really get to know them.