Do you feel guilty saying no? Do you find yourself following a no with a long explanation? We as victims have been taught that we do not have the right to say no. We have been conditioned to believe that we are to be yes people all the time. Often the word no is hard for us to say because we feel we have to explain why we are saying no. We feel as though we owe others something for saying no.
As a result we have trouble asserting ourselves. Some of us tend to be passive-aggressive either we say yes all the time and stuff how we truly feel. Or we say no in an explosive way. Assertiveness is hard for victims of trauma. A lot of our rights were taken away when we were victimized. The right to say no was a major blow to us. I did not know when I was being abused as an adolescent I could say no. I thought I was to be obedient and dutiful to my pedophile. It was not until I reached age 18 that I realized I was an adult and had the right to say no.
No has always been a hard one for me. It is so final and unapologetic. That is not like me at all. When I say no I have a long dissertation behind it. I may start off like I am so sorry but instead just saying no. We have to know that we must say no with no apologies or explanation in order to regain our freedom as survivors. Every time we hesitate to say no we are traumatizing our esteem by saying our rights are not important. We worry so much about the feelings of others that we continually hurt ourselves in the process. We are doing ourselves a great disservice by not exercising our right to say no. It is bad enough that when we were abused we lost our innate senses of trusting ourselves. We always second guess ourselves. Why am I saying no, is something we ask ourselves? What about how he/she feels?
We wind up holding onto people and relationships that should have ended long ago. As victims we tend to forget we own the gift of good-bye. Here are some tips to saying no and meaning it:
1. No means no! Say no and stick to it. We need to set boundaries with the people we come in contact with. They do not have the right to walk all over us like a doormat. We did not survive abuse to lie down and take some more from anyone. We need fight back and saying no it apart of that fight.
2. No excuses or apologies. Just say no. Don’t try to justify you decision you have consulted with yourself and that is enough justification. You do not need to validate this with anyone else. Stop apologizing saying no is a right. People say no to you all the time and harbor no guilt from it you should be expected of you to do the same.
3. Trust your decision. If saying no means avoiding a situation that can be physically or emotional harmful to you stand by that decision. Do not waiver. People tend not to trust your word when you are indecisive. When they do not trust it they will often trample over it. Stand firm.
4. Stand your ground. A large part of releasing yourself from victim to survivor status is standing up for yourself. We feel so liberated when we take a stance for ourselves. If it makes you uncomfortable then it is not right for you. Always put you and your feelings first and foremost at all times.
Do you have issues with the word no? Do you harbor guilt when using this word? Why or why not? Share your thoughts below.