The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

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One Thousand Thanks: 692 – 702. Difficult but Empowering Interactions

Me standing in a tree

You can be strong but sway in the breeze like a tree.

On Tuesday, I went to see my old therapist who I had not seen since early December. Our last session was very painful, and because of that, I never wanted to return to her. You can read part one of that story and part two in my previous posts. Anyway, our talk was anxiety-producing and emotional but good for the most part. I do not know if I am ready to see her regularly and rather doubt it. Mending the relationship and hearing her response was extremely healing.

Looking back over the past year, I can see my growth in facing scary social situations where I had to learn to be honest and stand up for myself. Although these experiences were difficult, they forced me to grow stronger. Plus, many taught me that my “rude honesty” or “selfish behavior” was simply normal assertiveness. People responded extremely well overall. Funny how you make yourself so scared of something that turns out to be fine.

So for Thankfulness Thursday, I am going to look at these situations as well as the benefits that arose from them. Please leave a comment to tell me what you have learned from confrontations or honest interactions that you were nervous about but still did. I would love to hear about your inspiring (or disastrous) moments.

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Can You Be Both Assertive and Kind?

Me standing in the trees

Me standing in the trees

Saying “No” to someone and voicing my opinion have been struggles for years. Not wanting to get in trouble or make others unhappy, I went along with whatever people desired. My own feelings and desires did not matter. After awhile, I did not even know who I was or what I wanted. All that I knew was I needed to be obedient, good, and sweet.

Yet, there were some times when listening to others created complicated situations. Teasing increased, “friends” manipulated me into doing whatever they wanted, and I lost sight of my identity. However, standing up for myself by not agreeing with my peers or setting boundaries seemed impossible.

One day, a theater friend made a joke about me that was humorous but also frightening. She stated, “You know, I think that if you asked Anna Rose to kill someone, she would say, ‘Only if I can do it nicely and without hurting them.'”

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