Saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes we need to draw the line on what we do for others so we don’t max out ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Establishing boundaries sets the expectation of what you are willing to do for others while still taking care of yourself. Even telling others you don’t want to talk about a specific topic because it makes you uncomfortable is setting a boundary.
The “just say yes” philosophy has been promoted by mental health professionals and media personalities for years. It has allowed individuals to experience new things and expand their horizons, but at what cost? Overexertion, resentment, shallow relationships, and even sometimes regret.
Have you ever had a “fair weather friend” who only talks to or hangs out with you when it’s convenient and directly benefits them? Are you always going above and beyond for others and rarely (if ever) have your efforts been reciprocated? Are touchy topics always brought up even though you specifically asked for them not to be? Spending too much time with others and neglecting your own needs? It’s ok to draw a line and say “no” to people and things and still maintain these relationships.
5 benefits of saying “no”:
- Establishes boundaries and respect in relationships
- Prioritizes your feelings, wants, needs, and mental health
- Allows you to say “yes” to other things
- Helps you build your confidence
- Strengthens your healthy relationships and filters out the toxic ones
Saying “no” isn’t a bad thing, it’s part of healthy relationships… as long as we are confident and clear with our wants and needs. These boundaries are critical in how we develop and nurture our relationships, regardless of whether they are romantic, social, familial, or professional. The boundaries you establish may change over time, but remember to put yourself and mental health first.