How I learned to say NO and stop being a people pleaser!
Here are some strategies to stop being a people pleaser!
You have to choose whether you want to be a victim or start owning your power. Recognise there are some people who thrive on attacking a weaker person.
Begin this exercise every time you say NO to coffee, desserts, or something you love.
Practice saying NO in the mirror and look at yourself in the eye while you say it.
New here? I write about confidence and stop being a people pleaser. Here are some more blog posts that might help you:
- How to Network
- 3 Ways to feel confident and overcome social anxiety!
- I was bullied at school and how I survived
- How to Handle a Bully at Work
- 10 Ways to Overcome Loneliness When You Work From Home
- Being an Entrepreneur is Lonely
- Comparing yourself to others
My first proper job out of university was at a radio station in Nottingham. In my early 20s, I was shy and overweight.
I had spent much of my teenage years learning that the only way to survive was to be sweet and polite to everyone. Because I thought that everyone would be nice back.
I soon realised that not everyone was particularly pleasant. You have to learn to stand your ground, stay professional and say “NO”.
Release your “inner bit@h”
I had to learn to release my inner b!*@h.
My friend Rae and I worked together in the copywriting department at a local radio station. Rae encouraged me to stop being sweet to everyone – and release my inner bitch.
She didn’t mean to be bitchy to people, but she did encourage me to say what I thought. Rae was the first friend that I could be truly honest with – to this day I can say, “Shut up Rae,” which I would NEVER EVER say to anyone else.
She taught me to vocalise my feelings, and express whether I was happy, sad, lonely or frustrated and how I wanted things to change.
Rae provided a safe space to say “NO.”
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT!
Rae and I also worked together, and I learned that it was okay to express my emotions, and actually say how I felt.
In this safe friendship I learned how to professionally manoeuvre difficult people in the office, and negotiate around them, but I also learned to STAND UP FOR MYSELF PROFESSIONALLY…. which she liked to call: RELEASE YOUR INNER B!*@H.
Twenty years on, I’m better at saying “no”, but it’s not something that I find easy.
I see it now with my clients, and encourage them to release their inner bitch in the workplace to ensure that they politely and firmly are not taken advantage of.
LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF “NO”
This I can see now with my two-year-old son. He’s shy, and gentle and lets the other kids take his toys.
If another child pushes him over, I have just taught him the words to say: “No, I don’t like it.”
Yesterday we were at the zoo, and it was very busy, and a man was pushing and squashing him in his enthusiasm to show his daughter the tigers. I didn’t realise how much he was hurting Ben until he told me afterward.
We had a conversation, where I said if someone hurts you or it feels uncomfortable, you say: “OWWWW, that hurts.”
This morning when I picked him out of his cot, his first words to me were, “OWWW, that hurts. That man hurt me.”
Unless we LEARN to voice our unease in a situation and stand up for ourselves, no one is going to stand up for us.
What parameters can you set for your boss or the person who intimidates you?
It took me a long time to learn how to stand up for myself, but these are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way. Please feel free to share.
HOW TO SAY NO:
- Practice saying no in the mirror, so you start to feel comfortable saying it.
- Say “no” for the small things first of all… No to coffee, or ice-cream before you say no to your boss or perhaps a sibling
- Stand tall
- Your body language matters – have your shoulders back.
- Look someone in the eye
- Smile, it can disarm them
- Remember to breathe.
- You can choose how you react to the situation – you can choose to be intimidated by them, or you can choose to find a different way of seeing the situation. It’s hard to do this when you’re in the midst of the moment, so practice keeping calm and breathing deeply (see my post on body language).
What are your strategies for dealing with the bullies?