While I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, there is an energetic shift I am setting into motion in 2022. The theme of this shift is saying “yes” to saying “no”. I was inspired to make this a goal after reading a chapter devoted to this idea in Anita Moorjani’s book, Sensitive is the New Strong. I really resonated with what she had to offer on this topic and found that as an empath, it was definitely an area that was challenging to navigate – perhaps you can relate to this too.
As empaths, it is typically quite hard for us to say no. We usually are more concerned with hurting people’s feelings or have guilt around saying no. We also are ordinarily not fans of confrontation or conflict. The result being, we say yes to keep the peace or avoid the awkwardness of having a difficult conversation. There is a tendency to do whatever is necessary to avoid conflict or disappointing people, even at our own emotional expense.
All of these behaviors cause us to feel depleted, weary and ultimately, resentful. It also sets us up to be less than honest about our true feelings, often fearing we will let down our loved ones or friends if we state how we really feel or say no. I finally noticed I hadn’t been giving people enough credit with this line of thinking. Afterall, I am not ever upset when someone isn’t able to fulfill a request or says no. By extension, it seems reasonable to assume that would likely be the case in reverse. I realized that the negative response I feared was really my own projection and coming from my own mind.
In reality, people are much more accepting and accommodating than I was giving them credit for. It is true however, if we have trained people to expect us to subjugate our needs for their needs, it might be surprising to them when we shift. The good news is any healthy and loving relationship will survive the transition. People who love and respect us want what’s best for us and are willing to accept our new way of being. In the end, learning to say “yes” to saying “no” is a win for everyone because authenticity is the foundation of all truly healthy relationships.