Being Kind by Saying “No”
Can you set boundaries from a place of calm and kindness? We often end up confronting these issues when we’re frustrated or feeling guilt or regret.
Think of an event or project that you’ve volunteered for or just helped out with in the past. Maybe it was hosting a family holiday. Maybe it was taking a role in your local church, charity, or nonprofit organization. Or it could just be a chore or task (at work or home) you always do.
Now imagine you don’t want to do it anymore. You have to tell other people that you are withdrawing your help. Maybe you’re expecting them to be disappointed in you or to push back and say you can’t quit.
If you’re a people pleaser, you might ignore your own needs or preferences and agree to keep giving. You may think you’re being kind, putting other people’s needs first. But being kind to others at the expense of being unkind to ourselves often backfires. It can make us resentful. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted. It can drain our battery and hurt our well-being.
I’ve learned (often the hard way), that the best approach is to take action when I’m feeling good, before I feel upset, before I feel guilty. I focus on what I need and remind myself that I’m being kind by filling my own cup. Because when I’m kind to myself, I have more capacity to be kind to others.
Give it a try on something easy this week and see how it goes to say “no” from a positive mindset (your sage).