Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Joy of Saying NO

Is saying NO selfish and mean? No, in fact it is just the opposite. Saying NO spares the "asker" from getting mediocre participation (possibly with an attitude) and the "askee" from resenting the request or having unrealistic expectations of the outcome. Women in particular have difficulty saying NO as they fear being judged or being cut-off from the people asking of them.
The few things in life I regret are decisions made for someone else. Instead of doing what was best for me, I often put the needs of another ahead of my own. There were times I said yes because I didn't want to: a) hurt someone's feelings, b) disappoint them, c) risk not being liked, or d) miss an opportunity. In the end, I felt bad and did not get the benefit of any of the above.

But in times when I said no (due to putting my needs first) I felt overjoyed. It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest, and I could breathe for the very first time.

Therefore after much trial and error, I learned to put my needs first and I started saying NO! Here are some ways in which you can incorporate saying NO into your life.

Just say NO when you:
  • Don't have to do it and REALLY don't want to do it
  • Are hoping that saying yes will change how the person sees you
  • Will have an attitude while doing it
  • Don't have the time, money, or energy to do it RIGHT!
  • Need validation that the person is not willing or able to give

Saying NO is not always appropriate as we have to do some things whether we want to or not. But, it is helpful to alleviate feeling devalued, exploited, overworked and regretting decisions made for others and not ourselves.  

Learn to assert your boundaries and put your needs first and just say NO!   

The Impact of Bullying Lasts Into Adulthood

The physical scars from bullying may heal, but psychological scars can last into adulthood. Recent research reports that kids who experience relational bullying (social shunning, rumors, exclusion, etc.) are more prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness in adulthood. Both males and females who were the victims of relational bullying had higher rates of depression in adulthood, even if they had extensive support networks. Contrary to previous research, having a lot of friends does not reduce the lifelong effect of bullying for some children.

This research highlights the need for parents, school officials, and community leaders to recognize instances of, and to intervene on behalf of children who bully and those who are being bullied.