Saying ‘no’ is something I really struggle with. My psychologist said that saying ‘yes’ to everything is a pattern that is often repeated by people pleasers. While I can certainly accept that not everyone will like me, I can’t cope with the feeling of letting people down.
What I need to realise is that, in saying ‘yes’ and pleasing others, I am just letting myself down. As a result of making myself available to every opportunity presented to me, I suffer immensely with burn out. Burn out is somewhat a buzz word now, but it is an intrusive life factor that young people have to consider.
As students we are firstly faced with the challenge of studying and passing. Throw in some part time work to keep afloat, interning to get your name out into your chosen industry, and extra curricular activities to make your resume look appealing, and our schedules are full. Any more work than this seems absurd to me, yet I still continue to say ‘yes’.
While I hate to admit it, I fear looking people in the eye and saying ‘no’. Instead of having to break through this fear, I’ve created a new goal to ease myself out of my people pleasing ways. If someone asks me to take on another responsibility, I will say, ‘let me think about it.’ This way, I am given more opportunity to consider if the responsibility is important enough for me to dedicate time to.
If you’re a serial people pleaser like me, then I encourage you to give the technique a try. So far it’s worked wonders.