There is one easy and fast test that you can use to check how close and comfortable is your relationship. Simply think how easy it is for you to say no to them without feeling guilty.
We often think that it is compromise and agreeableness that create basis for a happy relationship, and it is true to a certain extent. Being able to meet interests of both parties is an undeniably important skill for a long-term relationship. But there needs to be a limit to this flexibility for a healthy partnership.
If you are someone who finds it difficult to say no to your partner or other people in general, and if you struggle to justify why you should do it, here is a list of reasons why it is important to be comfortable saying no in any relationship:
- You learn to stay in touch with yourself. We often forget that when we come in a relationship, we don’t become one person with our partner. We remain an individual and we need to be aware of what this individual wants from life to remain happy themselves and to keep the relationship happy. Saying no to something we don’t want is not egoistic or inconsiderate to other person. It is a form of taking care of ourselves. And the happier you are, the more happiness you bring to the relationship.
- You stop being dependent on appreciation from others and allow your partner to love the real you. Another common reason why we find it difficult to say no is the belief that only “good girls” are loved. Being a “good girl” in this case equates to putting other people’s wants before yours and waiting to be appreciated for that. Learning how to say no will allow you to feel good being yourself and will let you build a happy relationship with someone who loves real you, not the “good girl”.
- It will teach others how to treat you. A lot of confusion in the relationships comes when we try to please our loved one and pretend we like something that we really don’t. We may feel like we are a good person for sacrificing our true interests. But your partner may never realize that you are sacrificing something to please them. They think that you are genuinely happy with your choices, so they behave accordingly. If you know how to say no, you simply teach the other person what is fine with you and what’s not, so you can feel more comfortable in the relationship. This way you will also avoid building silent resistance, pressure and negativity inside of you towards your partner.
Now that you know why it’s important to be comfortable with saying no in the relationship, let’s talk about the most difficult part – how to say no without feeling guilty. Here is a short guide on this:
Make a decision to stop being a people-pleaser. It needs to be a personal, firm and conscious decision, which you will need to stick to and which will change the way you act.
Decide what’s truly important for you. To understand when to say no you need to thoroughly examine your personality and beliefs, evaluate what is crucial to you and set strict boundaries for others.
Practice saying no without excuses or over explaining. You have the right to say no and that is a good enough reason. Just keep doing it and you will get comfortable eventually. The key is to start.
Allow yourself to be disliked by someone and still value yourself. You will meet the resistance when you start saying no, especially if you were very agreeable before. Remember that it is ok and don’t be afraid of this. People who are not in line with your values would never bring you happiness anyway, so let them go. By learning how to say no to them and say yes to yourself you will find those, who get you and like you together with your boundaries.
Don’t wait for other people’s permission or approval to say no. You need to learn to listen to yourself only. Allow yourself to be guided by your core values and principles.
Be firm in your no and don’t change your mind when others try to influence you. If you give up, they will not take your no seriously and will ignore it next time.
I understand how difficult it can be, but learning how to say no in a relationship is one of the keys to your own happiness and happiness of your relationship, so don’t give up. To keep yourself inspired remember this quote by Mandy Hale:
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself & make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”