Respecting Your Own Boundaries: The Power In Saying “No”
The common plight of the annoyingly nice is defending yourself and trying to stop people from walking all over you. Reality shows are not typically a good place to get gems of wisdom, but on Flavor of Love Season 2, New York said something that always stuck with me: “If you’re a doormat, you deserve to be walked on, and muddied on…” That one comment always plays in my mind whenever I’m on the verge of being too nice where I feel as though I’m about to be taken advantage of.
That gem popped back in my head when one of my best friends and I were talking on the phone and we got on the discussion of self-improvement. Within this conversation she told me that she wanted to work on respecting her boundaries more. When I asked her what she meant by that she began to explain how she will sometimes put herself out there for others and she’s working on listening more to her internal cues of sticking up for herself; therefore, “respecting her boundaries.” That phrase just really stuck with me. Both she and I can sometimes be too nice and will bend over backwards for others to the point of making ourselves uncomfortable. But she had reached the point of being comfortable with saying no, while that seemed like a luxury to me.
I can sometimes be naive and think that there aren’t people who are looking to take advantage of my niceness, or actively trying to find someone to rule over, but the truth is, there are those people. There are also people who fall in between being the above described jerks, and being too nice, and sometimes for people like that you want to let down your boundaries and try to be there for them the best that you can. But when those times come when doing something that causes you to bend too much for your own comfort, that’s when you should take yourself into consideration.
Now I love people. I love helping and I will do anything that I can within the confines of propriety to be of service to others. However, I’m learning that I have boundaries for a reason. If something doesn’t feel right to me I should take heed to it. Because when all is said and done, and I’m up at night I have to live with my decisions and have to hear my own frustrated thoughts of “Man, I should have just said no.”
Sometimes we get so nervous of saying no. Wanting to be there for others, not wanting to make others feel uncomfortable, but you have to remember you. You have to remember that sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. Not only that, you have to get to the point of being okay with your decision to turn a person down if you don’t want to do what they’re asking. Life is truly all about compromises, and sometimes you have to compromise for yourself. Instead of respecting someone else’s boundaries, learn to respect your own.
Kendra Koger just had a “Flavor of Love” marathon (all three seasons), please don’t judge her at her twitter account @kkoger.