“Often times people say yes not because they don’t want to say no but because they love to be needed”.
That was my journal entry on September 4th 2015.
I’m not quite sure where that quote came from. I didn’t quote it on my journal so I can’t say if I thought that up or if I got it from somewhere. Whatever the case, I stumbled on this entry as I was cleaning out one of my note folders yesterday. 2015 was an interesting year for me. While I like to attribute a lot of my changes to the year 2017, I have come to realize from all my journal entries that 2015 really was when it all began. My desire for finding purpose in life and the quest for living meaningfully began peeking through in 2015. My quest for minimalism began in 2015 too even though I didn’t know Minimalism was the term until late 2016. But anyways, I digress. The point of this post is to talk about our habit of Saying YES in order to feel needed!
Side Note: I have different folders on my note app and keep some journals for different reasons. Check out my My Must have planners & journals post for journals I currently keep. I’ll be simplifying my journaling soon.
Back to this post! If you’re like me, you’re a natural people pleaser. You tend to easily say yes to people. I used to think (I still do to an extent) that the reason I said yes so often to people was simply to prevent conflict. I have always believed that we say “yes” because we don’t want to say no for perceived consequences. This quote reminded me of a second option- saying YES in order to feel needed by someone. Perhaps you’ve never thought about it; I believe it is a subtle quest for want and aceptance that many of us aren’t in tune with ourselves enough to acknowledge. As humans, we desire to be wanted, to be recognized and to be appreciated. The effect of lacking this while growing up is seeing it manifest in different ways now that we are adults and in positions to offer help.
The biggest solution to Saying Yes for the righ reasons is to stop saying “Yes” too quickly.
We can all remember a time when we’ve said “yes” to things so quickly and then the reality of it hits us moments later. In order to actually cultivate the habit of saying No when we really mean No and YES when we mean YES and for the right reasons, we must tackle the habit of saying YES too quickly.
So How do you stop saying Yes too quickly?
To start saying yes for the right reasons, we must be more intentional. Think before you speak and commit to anything. What are your intentions? Why are you saying YES? Do you truly care to do that task? You have to be intentional with why you are committing to anything. Have a reason- to help someone?
It’s important that we sent boundaries before hand. Emotional boundary is particularly important as this is often the most difficult yet leaves us most vulnerable. Creating boundaries is important also because it allows you think about what you can and cannot do before situations present themselves. How far are you willing to go for certain people? How much of your weekly personal time are you willing to devote to something/someone else?
Love yourself enough to set boundaries and protect your sanity; to not thin yourself out from overcommitment. Loving youself is not selfishness. Bare in mind, you cannot serve others if you’re worn out. Serving others when you’re worn out and grumping about it defeats the purpose anyway.
Like I quoted in my September Intentions, “Authenticity is not the watering down of your message to help someone accept your words. Authenticity is simply trying to find the kindest way to tell the whole truth”. We often say Yes for fear of being judged or our of worry that we may no longer be liked. In saying “yes” for this reason, we are attempting to please others at the detriment of our own true self. That is not authenticity. Authenticity is saying NO when you truly mean NO and not allowing assumptions of how you’d be judged affect your decision to commit or not to commit. Remeber you can say NO, and say so nicely! It is not your place to worry about how this will be recieved.
As I concluded this post, I thought about those moments when saying “No” to people just doesn’t feel right even though that’s really what I mean to say. I think about the moments when I just can’t bring myself to say no to my siblings whom I truly love and adore. In these moments, I learn to compromise. One thing I’ve tried to remind myself is this: Just because someone comes to me for help doesn’t mean I am their helper. What if my role is to utilize my resources and link them to someone who might be more suitable to help them? Yes, that is a commitment of my time and resources but this may actually be the best option for both parties. You can link them to someone else who would gladly help without wearing yourself out.
I hope this post comes in handy for you; I know it will for me. Here’s to cultivating the healthy habit of saying yes for the right reasons
I’ll shamelessly plug in my new facebook group here! I’m looking to growing this group for anyone interested in simplifying life and living well. Come join in!