Head shot of worried woman over white backgroundIf you’re anything like me, saying “no” isn’t an easy feat. Whether it be to a friend, family member, or co worker — I just have a hard time saying “no.” I’m not sure why!

For some reason, people just know how to get me to do things. They pull on my heart strings and before I know it, I’m trapped in a situation I didn’t want to be in.

Most recently, I spent an entire Sunday hiking a mountain in 100 degree weather because my best friend asked me to. Now, this may not be a huge deal, but it’s small events like these that make me wonder: how do I stop myself from being guilted into things?

Speak your mind. Maybe we’re just people pleasers with a want to tell people what they want to hear. Don’t get me wrong, this can be a good thing. But it could potentially cause us to put ourselves on the back burner — that can’t happen! We need to practice standing up for ourselves! It’s important to work on the many different ways we can say “no,” so that when we’re put on the spot we will be better prepared.

Don’t be afraid of awkwardness. Society teaches us that it’s rude to say “no.” It isn’t! Women are especially saying “yes” all of the time! Why? Because we’re afraid to put ourselves in those awkward situations. For example, your co worker might ask, “Hey, could you finish up this project for me? I have to leave early tonight to make it to my kids dance recital.” You have your own plans for the evening and this co worker is always asking you for favors. But there’s still a small part of you that wants to cancel those plans in order to help your co worker out. It’s hard to say “no,” but sometimes you have to put yourself first. Now, it would be different if you didn’t have plans and genuinely wanted to help your co worker. All that matters is that you’re saying “yes” because you want to and not because you feel forced.

Detach yourself from the situation. When someone guilt trips me, they always make it out like I’m the only one in the world who can help them. I’m constantly being asked to edit my friends academic papers and work assignments because writing is one of my skill sets. I can understand why they would want my help, but that’s why spell check was created! I’m not the only one in the world capable of checking for grammatical errors and I need to remember that. If a person is trying to guilt you into doing something instead of asking you directly, you need to detach yourself from the situation and remember to not take their comments personally.

Don’t let yourself be guilted into something just because you’re afraid to let someone else down. Sometimes you have to be a little selfish and there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, this is your life!