Saying “No” to someone you love can make people feel guilty. They feel mean for saying no. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you tell a child “no” you are saying it for good reason. That doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a good parent. So why can’t it be the same with adults?
Saying “No” is how we enforce our personal boundaries. Whatever your reason is for saying no, it is good enough for you, so it should be good enough for the one you love. We all want to say yes to the one we love most of the time. We feel it is a way of showing how much we care. But that doesn’t mean that when you say “No” to someone you love that you don’t care about them.
If the one you love gets upset if you do not say yes to their every demand or favor (or whatever) then there is a bigger problem going on in your relationship. Someone that tries to make you feel bad for saying no to them is trying to manipulate you. They want you to feel bad so you always say yes. That kind of manipulation is mean, and nice people don’t behave that way. Selfish, entitled, spoiled brats do. If you are experiencing this kind of dynamic in your relationship then it is time to put the hammer down to change it. That is not a healthy relationship, and it won’t get any better without major change.
The first thing you have to get into your head is that you do not have to say yes all the time. Especially if the person is using you and taking you for granted. Do they always say yes to you? More than likely they don’t. So why do you? You don’t, so knock it off.
The next thing you have to accept and understand is that you should not feel guilty when you feel the need to say no. You know the type of person you are. You know you are not doing it to be mean. Your loved one should know you just as well and knows damn well you are not a mean person. They just want you to think they think you are mean, so you will do what they want. Since they don’t believe it, neither should you.
The next thing for you to look at is how your loved one responds when you say no. Do they get nasty? Withhold affection? Act like the walking wounded? Say nasty things? Say stupid things like “You NEVER do anything I ask you to” when you both know damn well you say yes to pretty much everything? Well, trust me, they don’t have amnesia, they remember the past and how often you say yes. They are just throwing a fit like a child whose parent won’t buy them something in the store that they want.
Should behavior like that be rewarded with children? No. Should it be rewarded with adults? Hell no. So why are you rewarding bad behavior like this? And should you wonder why you have a self centered brat as a loved one? Hey, you helped create this monster, so do what is necessary to disassemble them.
Get comfortable with saying no. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t rearrange your day to pick up their dry cleaning. Don’t be afraid they will leave you because you don’t pick up their dry cleaning. If they do, then you didn’t have much of a relationship in the first place. Don’t overextend yourself or put yourself last in order to make someone else be number one all the time, especially if they rarely do it for you.
The best relationships are balanced relationships. You cannot have the right balance in your relationship unless you have the freedom to say no without retaliation.