When I say “yes” but wanna say “no” I feel an instant pang of regret. I’ve failed myself by ignoring my needs and my intuition. It’s that all too familiar pattern from my childhood that I swore I’d never repeat. It stems from being raised in an environment where love felt conditional, which created this persistent fear of disappointing others and a constant need for approval. To be self-sacrificing was considered the “righteous” thing to do. Putting myself first was considered selfish. So, I’m a recovering people-pleaser. Ironically, whenever I listen to other people who’ve left cults/high control religions, I note that they share a similar experience.
Every “yes” that should’ve been a “no” leads to me going through the motions with a strained smile to mask my bitter internal dialogue. Inside I’m counting down the moments until my “yes” comes to an end. Meanwhile, all the negative mental chatter turns into gut-churning guilt for being so “selfish”. But here’s the thing – people aren’t stupid. I know I can feel when someone isn’t being authentic or when they’re not fully present with me. I can tell when someone begrudgingly said “yes”, and I’d much rather they be honest with me and true to themselves. I can handle the temporary sting of a “no”.
Nevertheless, the people-pleaser in me sometimes needs a repeat lesson. I need to be reminded that a “yes” loses its virtue when it’s dishonest.
7 Days of Soaked in Thought
S.I.T is an invitation to SIT with yourself – for a few minutes per day – to think your thoughts, feel your feels & express your emotions with a JOURNALING RITUAL. These 7 days are dedicated to “NO”vember; saying “no”, creating boundaries and honoring your needs. I’ll be posting daily journaling prompts as a source of inspiration for becoming #soakedinthought