Kassi Martin's Blog
Why Being Agreeable Is Bad For Your Health
Self Care and Assertiveness is a hugely hot topic so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this with you.
Firstly, I'd like to say something Vitally Important to you. YOU Matter. You matter as much as the next person. No more, no less. We all matter equally. I have a feeling deep down a part of you truly believes you do matter but perhaps another part of you has been taught that you don't?
Look at my Midsummer Goddess painting above. She is amazing, standing up tall, head held high. She feels so good about her Self and she lets you know it. She emanates empowerment, bravery and inner wisdom.
This is a woman who would say No if she has to.
ABOUT SAYING NO...
Saying No doesn't come easily to many of us. We find it really difficult, in fact practically impossible - to get that tiny word out of our mouth. Even when we Really want to say No and we know we should for our own sake, we still say ...Yes.
That 'yes' may come out as OKAY! with attitude or resentment, it may come out as a resigned sigh, believing we Have to do what others want. You may tiptoe around the tulips, feign illness, say 'Yes, BUT... I can't do it till tomorrow, next Friday, in a week...' however we tend to end up saying 'yes' when deep down we truly want to say NO.
Then we feel like kicking ourselves for agreeing to it. Is this your experience?
Teachers, Chefs, Doctors even Professors can find it practically impossible to say No. They may find saying No easier to colleagues than to close family members and friends ...or maybe not. There is just some kind of sticky, tricky superglue between our selves and others that keeps that NO word firmly beyond our reach.
A BIT ABOUT MY STORY OF SAYING NO...
I found saying No extraordinarily tricky right up in to my 40's. Once upon a time I was born in to a family who believed Being Polite, Helpful and Kind was vitally important behaviour, gaining us a first class ticket in to the Family Membership
ie being loved and becoming a Decent Human Being in the world.
Being Polite, Helpful and Kind was valued from those above and yet it was also, sadly a first class ticket to Being a Pushover, a Doormat, a Victim, a People Pleaser. Fast forward to adulthood and I was by then, an Expert in being a Polite, Helpful and Kind Doormat and was actually nicknamed Mrs Accommodating for rather a long while during a large part of my career.
Being Accommodating was great for everyone around me but it was really painful for me. Any personal Needs or Wants had to be pushed aside assuring All Other's Needs were placed before my own.
Of course my family wanted the very best for me. What they missed out when they 'trained' me to be Polite, Helpful and Kind was knowing that it was also OK to say No if I needed or wanted to protect myself. Protection from what you may ask. Well, from people who made good use of all my skills and ability to juggle many tasks whilst remaining good-natured. cheerful and well... accommodating. Sound familiar?
Why on earth did my family forget to teach me it is OK to say No? Personally I believe it was because nobody back in the older Generations ever knew or taught my Elders that it was OK to say No. This just continued down the Generations until it reached me. What is so wrong with always saying Yes to people's requests? Well to answer this as succinctly as I can, it generally leads to:-
Stress, Anxiety, OCD, Lack of Self Esteem, Low Self Confidence, Feelings of Worthlessness, Depression, Anger, Repression, Suppression, Grief and Loss, Somatic Pain and Tension, Chronic Headaches and Migraine.
Our Body is perhaps finding a way of letting us know we need to be more assertive and say No?
All of this isn't about bashing our Family of Origin for getting it all wrong. No. It's about acknowledging these Beliefs and Values that have been passed down the Generations and asking oneself; "Are these archaic Beliefs and Values still useful for me today?" and more importantly, 'If I have my own children and grandchildren, do I want to pass this down to them?"
That is a definite No from me, how about You?
In the same way you were taught to say Yes and Put Others First I am inviting you to reconsider this today. Right now, because there is no time like the present. Yes, it may make you feel a little wobbly, sick, stressed and panicky. Making change is not easy and I know Humans don't like Change, however, let's get serious here, how feasible is it to keep on saying Yes to everybody's (often unreasonable) demands?
Deep down in your very truest Self I imagine you have a feeling that saying Yes often, if not all the time is detrimental to you, to your body, your mind, your Soul or whatever that Essence is that you call 'me'.
I wonder if you would like to say No more often? That you need to say No. If you are like the old me and you continue to put others before your self, through time your boat will sink. We can only say Yes for so long and something has to give - this in my experience is usually our Health; Mentally, Physically and Spiritually.
If you are ready to do something about this, here is an invitation from me. Over the next 7 days, I invite you to practice saying No. Say No out loud, when you are in bed, when you are making a meal, when you are in the shower. Look in the mirror and say in to your eyes, "It is good for my health to say No to others,". Get used to hearing your voice saying No, firmly, calmly, aloud and often.
Sing the word No, Shout the word No, Dance the word No. Have fun saying No. Make yourself a Say No Badge. It can be real or imaginary but make it to your specification. It could be any colour you wish and finish it off with glitzy glitter that gives everybody the signal that you are an assertive person who can - and will - say No when required. Then at some point when somebody asks more of you than you want to give, I invite you to say 'No' calmly and firmly, mean it and get back on with your day.
We don't have to yell No, or resent it, or defend it or pull a 'sorry about that' expression - we just need to say 'No' and mean it.
As soon as you have said No, give yourself a big, inner, warm hug and tell yourself 'it's ok for me to say No, because I matter, as much as anybody else and my time is for me, for things I want to do and they have as much time to do things they need to do.' Then just Let It Go... and get back on with enjoying your precious day - because you matter.
I may have spent most of my life saying Yes in different ways but today I only say Yes when I want to and I say No when I want or need to - and that is often. It feels really good. It's about Self Care, Self Esteem, Confidence and Assertiveness.
I say No, in a straightforward, calm way. I mean it. I don't feel guilty and I know the Other is very capable of doing whatever that thing is they so desperately want me to do for them.
I won't be manipulated by huffs, sighs, foot tapping or stamping, eyes being thrown skyward or outbursts of emotion and anger.
I would love to hear how saying No goes for You if and when you say No next. I will respond with Celebration and Delight that you have chosen to take care of Yourself instead of somebody else on that occasion.
Wishing you great happiness, freedom and self love,
IMPORTANT; If you are in an abusive relationship where your safety is at risk then you need to seek professional help and seek this out NOW. Approach your GP, Nurse Practitioner or Counsellor who will help you.
Hi Alex, great! It's such a huge topic and very thought provoking. I'd love to be a part of your Red Tent. Have a great session
HI Kas - remember me - we played What's App at Christmas. I agree saying no is very difficult and dealing with the response can be more so. One has to try to develop quite a 'thick' skin to shake off the coldness it can arouse. Luckily I only have had to deal with this from groups of friends and the easiest way to do that is see less of them or find other more like minded people - but this is much easier said than done.
Yes I do remember you, very well and really enjoyed our fun together!
I agree it really is a tricky business to say No! Very wobbly making and I appreciate your urge to get away from this kind of thing. I clearly remember the first time I said No to a tricky personality I actually trembled visibly however I didn't back down and it gave me something to build upon. That event of 20 years ago was scary and exhilarating. Lovely to hear from you Jayne ❤