Today I’m sharing my next guest post from another fabulous blogger and the topic in question is so relevant right now. Over the last year or so, we’ve all been forced into placing boundaries we probably didn’t think about. Some boundaries have been forced upon us, others we’ve had to establish ourselves.
That friend who wanted to hang out during lockdown but you didn’t feel safe to do so, so you said no? That’s a boundary. That voice inside you telling you get off of social media because the nature of all the news was affecting your mental health? That’s a boundary. We’ve been forced into situations where we’ve had to say “no”, either to others or ourselves. And that doesn’t always come naturally to a lot of people.
Don’t miss my last guest post: 10 Mental Health Lessons Learned from 2020
Boundaries are something I’ve been working on a lot recently since starting my life coaching so I’m mega excited to share this wonderful post with you today about something that is so prevalent in our lives right now.
A Guest Post From Wool of the King:
Hi everyone, I’m Lauren from Wool of the King and I’m so excited to be writing for Jenny’s blog. I’m writing about a topic that I think is really important and that is saying no. Sometimes, saying no can be really hard to do but is often important and I’m going to be sharing why, when it’s important and why it’s not mean or bitchy to say no.
I have come across a lot of people who feel bad about saying no to friends or loved ones. Let me start by saying, this isn’t me telling you that you should start saying no to everything, but it’s just to make sure you set boundaries for yourself. I hate to be a teacher in the noughties but if your friend asked you to jump off a bridge, would you?
I have found in certain friendships and relationships that if you say yes to a lot of things, then people might ask you to start doing more for them to the point where they aren’t giving a lot back. It’s good to have a balance in your personal relationships as it could put a strain on you if one of your relationships is becoming one sided.
Being asked to do things you don’t necessarily want to do doesn’t have to just happen in social situations either – it could happen to you at work. When I was working part-time at a café, they would sometimes ask me to work extra hours or days. If I didn’t have anything else to do and wanted extra money I would say yes but if I had lots of uni work to do, which was often the case, I would say no.
If you are looking for more friendship advice, check out my Friendships: The Low Down post.
Is it mean to say no?
The answer to this is very on theme, NO. You don’t owe anyone anything and if someone makes you feel bad for saying no to something that you don’t want to do then you should really think about what that says about them.
If you want to please people and feel bad saying no sometimes, that is completely normal and the route to saying no and protecting yourself can be a tricky but ultimately important one. I used to feel bad about saying no to things especially in relationships but it was when I noticed I was doing more for certain people than they would ever do for me, I knew I needed to set some boundaries.
Again, this is not me saying you have to be completely equal with people, it’s nice to do kind things for people without expecting anything in return, but if you are getting taken for a fool it starts to become a problem.
Things to remember if you feel bad for saying no:
- Would this person do the same for me?
- I am protecting my mental health
- You can’t ever please everyone at one time
Protecting your mental health
For me, I really enjoy going out with friends so for the most part if someone asks me to do something fun, I will say yes. This isn’t always the case though, sometimes you just need to take a mental health day and spend some time looking after yourself. That may involve saying no if someone makes plans with you.
I really think it should be more widely accepted for people to just say they are staying in and having a day to themselves. I don’t know about you, but I always feel pressured to make up an excuse.
You know yourself better than anyone so you will know when is the best time to say no to look after your mental health. It will become easier the more you start to say no too.
The key moment is when you realise that after saying no to your loved ones, they probably won’t even mind and will treat you no different than before. You may even find that they respect you more for looking out for yourself and setting boundaries for yourself.