How to Act When People Make Too Many Demands of You
If you ever feel stressed out and over-subscribed with other people’s requests, then you have come to the right place. Those of us who just do not have the heart to say no to people can find ourselves getting burnt out in the long run. Secretly, we would love to take the control of our lives back. But either because we care too much, or we are just plain afraid to say no, we let things roll on.
From both my past as someone who was afraid to say no, and my more recent experience as a life coach, here are my tips on how to behave. The goal is to respect yourself and define your boundaries without burning any bridges. Yes, you can have it both ways.
Do not be tempted to people please
People pleasing can be such a temptation for those of us with self-esteem issues or a fear of losing our friends. We convince ourselves that other people’s needs are more important than our own.
When we believe this, we do for others before doing for ourselves. Then we get tired and resentful, perhaps a bit passive-aggressive, and we may even lose our temper and snap. Then the friends that asked for our help in the first place wonders what our problem is.
Honesty over passive-aggression
In order to prevent us slipping into a dark place where we resent our friends and family, we need to make sure that we look after ourselves at least as much as we look after them, if not more. If you are looking after your friends and family, then that is great for them, but who is looking after you? That is right… no one. Here is the harsh truth; it is your responsibility to look after your own needs. You can start to do this by learning how to decline requests of help that would put a strain on you.
Read also – What It Really Means to Be a Carefree Girl
Share your reason, not your excuse
No is a complete sentence, but you can still explain your position without sounding weak. If you are not brave enough to simply say, “No, I am sorry, I can’t do that today,” then try adding a very simple second sentence.
I think the key is to make it your reason, not your excuse. So say firmly, “I am busy with x” and end scene. There is no need to go on and on about how stretched you are. You have explained enough – the trick is to have confidence in what you have already said.
You might not feel confident the first few times, but try to fake it until you make it. You have given your reason, not your excuse, so you do not need to feel bad. Put very simply; when you start respecting yourself, others will respect you more too. We all need boundaries. They are not a luxury and you do not need to apologize for having yours.
Try to be a little firmer each time, and your confidence will gradually grow. You can be honest without burning bridges. If you try it you might be surprised how understanding your friends are, and how simple saying no really is.