Why it’s hard to say no
As children, we are taught early on that “no” is not a nice word. When we learn this word “no” as a child, it is our first taste of freedom. It is our first taste of the option to work for our will rather than the will of our caregivers.
As a parent, when I started being met with that word no it created a massive sense of frustration within me. I wanted to respect my child . Balancing her needs, desires and wants while also honouring the need to go, eat, sleep, take a bath, was full of challenge I know I was teaching my daughter to disregard her feeling and instead honour mine.
This was definitely not my intention. At the time, it felt like that was my job as a parent.
Being an empath and saying no
As we begin to get older, most people become more comfortable with the word no. We learn that we are separate beings that are allowed to have our own needs and wants.
Unless we are empaths. Then it is hard to say no. Our energy is often enmeshed with those around us and until we learn to unravel this energetic codependence it can make the word no nearly impossible.
We are so acutely aware of the pain our no can cause. It creates massive issues for us. When we encounter narcissists who understand this about us before we do it can leave us with long lasting emotional damage.
Saying no to others when we can feel the pain of that no makes it very hard. Many of us then choose not to say no. We choose to sacrifice ourselves rather than create pain in another.
Most often we are not making this choice consciously. It is an unconscious program that we are running. This is why it is hard to say no.
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person
This is where it starts to get confusing for us empaths. This unconscious belief that many of us carry is why it’s so hard to say no.
With blurry boundaries and not being able to fully decipher where we end and others begin, things become confusing.
When we feel that pain and know that we are the cause of it, we start to believe that we are bad. Many of us who grew up with a narcissistic parent were also told this on a regular basis.
But we are not bad. Putting our needs at the forefront of our decisions does not make us bad. Saying no when requests are not in alignment with your needs and desires does not make you bad.
In fact it makes you a power player in this world since you will not be getting side tracked with all of the other needs and wants but instead will be moving towards your goals much faster.
One of my favorite ways of saying no
I learned a long time ago (back when we all still had land lines) to not answer my phone if I wasn’t up for it. These days things are a little bit different.
I am very careful about sounds on my phone. I can feel each little ding affecting my central nervous system sending me off into the race. Which is why I have my phone on silent most of the time.
I still have my phone in hand plenty of times per day and will address whatever has come up during that time, but I don’t let my phone rule my time.
I am also receiving more and more invitations to do talks and share about my work, and I know I can’t do everything. I often ask people if I can get back to them which buys me a bit of time to ensure the ask is in alignment for me and will not be unnecessarily draining.
As you begin this journey using no more often, there will be times when you fall back into the old patterns. Be kind to yourself. This is a journey and if it feels like those old patterns are leading the way too often you can always get help.
The best way to tell if you should have used a no but didn’t is when you notice resentment coming up. Resentment is a powerful indicator of where you have a boundary, but you haven’t enforced it.
You deserve to have a life that is full of joy and excitement. That is why you came here.
EFT Tapping as a tool to strengthen your no
As we work to strengthen our ability to say no and put ourselves first, it can often feel impossible to stay the course. There are all these old rules and programs running in our subconscious (and sometimes our conscious mind).
It can feel frustrating and hard.
It often feels easier to just sacrifice ourselves. In fact, I was on a client call the other day where my beautiful client was ready to sacrifice the next 6 years.
I couldn’t let her stay with that energy. So we tapped until there was space for a new thought. One that allowed things to shift much faster all while keeping her nervous system safe and feeling secure.
This is the beauty of working with EFT tapping.
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If you find yourself struggling to say no and you’d like it to be easier – let’s have a chat and see if working together is a good fit.