Codependency: How to Say No (Part 3 of 4).
Greetings. Learning how to say no is one of the key skills and abilities in life that can lead to a very good and successful life. Learning how to day no can lead to success in many areas of your life. Saying no can lead to many victories and accomplishments in both your personal and professional life. Want success in all areas of your life? Learn how to say no.
For example, consider the most important relationships in your life. Your spouse, your children, your family are friends. What if you sat down, starting today, and had this conversation: Is there room in this relationship for me to say no? If I do say no, how will you hear my no and how will you react to my no? Can I say no in this relationship and if I do say no, can my no not lead to damaging our relationship?
As you know, one of our biggest needs in life is to feel that social and emotional connection and bond to the most important people in our life. To love and feel loved is very important to our well-being. To love is to show that you matter and I matter and we can participate in a feeling of belonging and security. So we fear saying no due to our concern that a no can be a threat to our relationship. So we worry about saying no to someone due to this fear that somehow I may cause a threat to the connectedness we have and you do not want to be blamed for sabotaging this love connection.
The challenge then for love and trust to remain is to view saying no as a protection of love and trust. You value and deeply desire love and trust but when someone starts to drink or someone decides to say yes to some commitment, you feel worried that their yes will sabotage or threaten your love and trust with that person.
Remember, saying no is a statement of wanting to protect something. So if your spouse starts to drink, you want to say no to the alcohol because you do not want alcohol to threaten your love relationship with your spouse. Or let’s say you start to say yes to being on a committee or doing a project that could be time consuming. Can you see how your spouse may not want you to do this if it means time away from you and less time focusing on love and trust.
A healthy relationship has the capacity to say both yes and no. I believe that one of the tests to many relationships is to answer this question: Can I hear a no? If you say no to your spouse, child or family member, can they hear your no? Can you sit down with them to help them understand that your no is not statement of wanting to reject them or threaten the relationship but your no is a way to protect the love and trust in the relationship. Can you see yourself sitting down with the most important people in your life and ask them: If I say no, how will you hear this and what would this mean to our relationship?
My hope for you is that you will began to think of ways to have a conversation as a strategy to build a healthy relationship in which both parties can feel free to say both yes and no. Learning to say yes to what you want, like love and trust is good and healthy and learning to say no without trying to control or reject the other person is also a strong indicator of a healthy relationship. Because when you can say yes or no, then you are building freedom in the relationship as a desire to protect what is good and important to all your relationships. Thanks for reading. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to call me.