You are not responsible for other people’s happiness, “I dare you to say NO”

learn to say no

You are not responsible for other people’s happiness, “I dare you to say NO”

"If you live for people's acceptance, you will die from their rejection"- Lecrae

Do you feel sometimes exhausted from putting everyone else needs before your own? Do you do things for others even if it leaves you unhappy?  Are you a “YES” person who never wants to let anyone down? Then you must read this.

People-pleasers want everyone around them to be happy. Their main goal is for others to like them, they will say “Yes” to whatever is asked of them even if it depletes their energy and time, and when they say no to a request, they spend a lot of time feeling guilty.  People-pleasers feel the need to gain constant approval and validation from others as it makes them feel confident, important and contributing to others life.

Constantly wanting to please others on the expense of your time and energy will lead you feeling over committed and overloaded. This is a habit with serious risks that could lead to anxiety and depression.

Here are some strategies to help you:

- In order to change any kind of behavior you need be aware of it and the beliefs you have around it. Ask yourself these questions:

Do I have a habit of assuming other people's rights are more important than mine?
Am I in the habit of allowing others to make decisions for me rather than making these choices myself?
Do I believe that I should never make anyone else uncomfortable, angry or displeased apart from myself?

Reflect on the answers and ask yourself since when and why I have these particular beliefs about myself?

- Practice saying NO: at the end it is just a word with two letters. When you feel the need to say NO for something, always start with a positive note ex. I totally understand… That is great!! However… or I would love that, but…..  You can always formulate a positive, polite and an assertive answer without worrying about creating conflict or hurting others.

- Stop making excuses and stop justifying your NO – as sometimes it backfires on you! And if you cannot say NO, train yourself to say I will think about it, let me get back to you… and then take time to ask yourself : Would that request make me comfortable or stressed? Do I have the time?  Then formulate your answer accordingly.

- Make peace with your guilt feeling as this is definitely a misplaced guilt. Remember when you say no to something you don’t want to do, you are just being honest to yourself and setting your priorities and are not doing anything bad!

- Set some boundaries: you need to create healthy distance with others and think about WHAT you would be willing to do for others without comprising on your time, your family time and your values. Valuate the balance between the time you give away to others and time spent on your own life.

- Be aware of people who take advantage of your good nature. Watch out of the manipulators who would use the perfect words and approach to make you say YES by making you feel guilty. Trust your instincts about other people and learn to act on them.

Break the habit of trying to please everyone all of the time. When you stop having to please everyone else, your desires will rise to the surface and you can start working on your own happiness and self-worth.

Kindness is the one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another, if someone is in need, lend them a helping hand and do not wait for a thank you, however, remember that you cannot please everyone, just be authentic and true to yourself and to your self-worth. 

Linda Chaccour
Founder Emerge Coaching
Life Strategist and Happiness Consultant

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About the Author
Linda Chaccour is a passionate Life Strategist and Happiness Coach, a Certified Youth, Parent and Family Coach, and the founder of Emerge Coaching in UAE and in Lebanon. A graduate of the NeuroLeadership Group, the World Coach Institute, and the Robbins-Madanes Training school (RMT), Linda has had the honor of being trained by the International Coach Federation and the motivational guru and success coach, Anthony Robbins.