Saying “yes” when you really mean “no” will insert you into the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ about as fast as anything you can say or do. When we find ourselves in the DDT, both of us tend to default to the Rescuing role because our strategy to deal with insecurity or fear is to accommodate and try to please others. Our nature is to try to make everything turn out well and create a smooth path in our relationships.
The dark side of always wanting to be helpful is that we sometimes say “yes” so often that we forget what we really want because we are tending to the needs of others before our own. Later we may regret that we didn’t say “no” and end up criticizing and persecuting each other. Or, we persecute ourselves because we are spending our time and resources committed to something we didn’t really care about.
During the holidays it is really easy to forget that “no” is a complete sentence. For those of us who are “no challenged,” the holidays can be especially difficult because we want so much to be happy and make others happy.
“No” is one of the first words all babies learn because it leads to healthy boundaries and positive self-identity. As we grow-up, it is difficult, especially for Rescuers, to simply say, “no thank you.”
During the coming week, try this experiment. Attempt to say “no” to anything you don’t want to do, be it requests at home or at work. It is can be a scary, but amazingly liberating exercise.
Notice your emotional state when you say no. Also notice your behavior. Are you tempted to keep talking or have to justify your answer? Do you end up eventually saying yes because you couldn’t stand risking displeasure or disappointing others?
From time-to-time we all say “yes” to things we would rather not do, either because of the value we put in the relationship or because of a necessity that may be present. It is when our primary strategy in life is to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own that we can lose our sense of self – even our individual identity.
There is a paradox in becoming a Creator. In order to be co-creators with others, we must first become the Creator of our own life.
This holiday season, practice saying “no” and setting the boundaries that will support the Creator in you. This is the eternal gift you can give to your self and in turn, be able to share with others.