I am a people pleaser at my core.
The word "No" is maybe the most powerful and freeing word that can be used.
I am extremely goal and task driven. I get lots of satisfaction from completing things. It is a gift and a curse. Not so much a curse anymore because I have learned how to say no.
I have the urge to say yes to everything that comes my way.
A couple years ago I started to learn how to say "No". I had to learn this because, Nashville is the type of town that you can spend your whole day jumping from thing to thing and all of a sudden its 2am and your in a honky tonk singing some Luke Bryan song and its a Tuesday.
When I first moved to town, I tried to say "yes" to everything. If someone wanted to meet up for coffee to talk about a potential project I would say "yes", if someone was having an open mic night, if someone was throwing a big party at their studio.. or someone literally just said "would love to see you at (insert random music thing) "... I was so guilty of being like... HECK YA, I am going.. I have to go...
The word "no" can be zero fun and it can literally feel like your hurting someone when you say it, but really you are respecting yourself and others. As someone who struggles with saying "no", I often found myself spread too thin. Always over committing and then letting myself deal with the consequences or giving people 60% of me instead of 100%.
This leads me to exhaustion. When I am exhausted I am no good to anyone, not even myself.
You can only really help people if you are healthy yourself.
This became the way I approached situations and the word "no". I needed to be healthy and take care of myself first in order to take care of others or be fully present when I am with others.
Learning to say "no" started to be something I viewed positively.
I knew every time I was saying "no" it meant saying yes to something else, and usually that something else was what really needed my attention. When you start to see that people will still like you and the world will continue on without you being at every event, it starts to free you up.
You no longer feel responsible for others feelings or emotions or actions.
You no longer need to defend your "No".
I have spent so much time trying to explain to people why I am saying "no" to something. Heck, I have even lied about why I am saying no (I don't do this anymore). Everything in me wants to take care of them, I want to make sure they know its not personal... but in life you will disappoint people.
And even the people that are somewhat mad or upset at first, come back around in like an hour totally fine.
As adults, we are responsible for taking care of ourselves. This often gets lost as we feel like we have to always say yes to everyone to keep them happy. You have to take care of yourself, its your job, and then you can take care of others. By learning how to say "no", you learn how to value things. You put value on your time and your energy. You put value on your relationships and the things that really matter.
Some people may not understand this. Some bosses may not understand this. Some friends may not understand this. Some spouses may not understand this. Some children may not understand this.
learning to say "no" allows to you take back your life and do things you want to do or need to do. Learning to say "no" will help you focus on those you really love and care about. It will allow you to stop pleasing people you barely know and start investing into yourself and others. Saying "no" will immediately make you feel less stressed and frustrated. Saying "no" will allow you to say YES! to the things that really matter.
The more you say "no" to people the more they will take you seriously. It will take time, but once you start this new healthy habit when you say "yes", people will truly know that you are interested and invested. When that happens, then everyone is better off and the relationships is healthier.
So figure out somethings today that your going to say "no" to.
Let me know if this was helpful.