Codependency: How to Say No (Part 2 of 4)

Learning how to say no is the key to having healthy relationships. All codependents know how to have unhealthy relationships filled with drama, low trust, and much emotional tension between two people or in a family. For codependents, that is normal.

But the reality is that if you can learn how to say no and negotiate a no, this really is so normal and healthy for all relationships. Research continues to show that your ability to say no is equal to your ability to have healthy relationships. So if you view saying yes when asked to help or do a favor for someone, even though all evidence shows it would not be good for you, your fear of saying no will damage not only you but all relationships.

For example, let’s say you rent an apartment in a 24 unit building. When you lock the doors or lock the windows, and try to keep your apartment safe, you are saying no to possible strangers or people that you do not want to be in your apartment. Locking the apartment is saying no to strangers. So you can say no to potential strangers but you can’t say no to close friends. In other words, you do not fear saying no to a stranger but you fear saying no a close friend or spouse.

This fear or uncomfortable with saying no thus allows the family or friend to come into your life and say yes to taking things from you. You will let a friend steal things from you but you will not let a stranger steal something from you. When you say yes to locks and windows on your apartment, you are saying no to strangers. When you are saying yes to family and friends, you are saying yes to them stealing things from you. You are okay with allowing a family member or friend to steal your joy, you trust, your time, your mind, your car, your love. You can protect your stuff where you live but you can’t protect your life when someone wants something from you.

For example, let’s say I gave ten $100.00 bills at 7 AM in the morning. What would you do with this money? Wise people would think of ways to go down to the bank and put it in a safe place to ensure they can protect this money. But if you can’t say no, you will be handing out these $100.00 bills all day long to people versus protecting your money.

When you say yes, you are not protecting yourself. When you say no, you are protecting yourself. You can lock the house or apartment but can you lock your heart from letting people steal something from you? Guard you heart as much as you guard your possessions. Just like giving out money, be careful who you give your money to and be careful who you give your heart, time, trust and love to. You are not afraid to put on locks on a door; can you also see saying no as a lock on your time, heart, love and trust? If you are having difficulty with this, plese give me a call or visit my website as I deeply desire to help you value to learn how to say no.