"No" on red background

The People-Pleaser’s Guide to Saying No

Are you a people-pleaser? Do you have a hard time saying no or setting boundaries? This one’s for you (and for me).

"Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can't base our own worthiness on others' approval." -Brene Brown

Photo by Marina

Do you ever find yourself exhausted or stretched too thin from all your responsibilities? You’re not alone. If you’re like me, your eyes are often too big for your metaphorical plate. We all have busy lives with responsibilities to handle, dreams to chase, and people to love. It’s all too easy to overload ourselves with so much that it feels like our time and energy are being pulled in a thousand directions. We want to be the perfect neighbor, the perfect Church member, the perfect friend, parent, spouse, sibling, employee—the list could go on until eventually we feel like we’re running around like a chicken with our head cut off. These are the times when it’s essential to know how to set boundaries.

In the Church blog post “Enough, Already,” Katie Barrett talks about exactly this issue. She tells a story about agreeing to help with a big project at her child’s school even though she really didn’t have time for it. The project became a source of frustration and resentment despite her having chosen to do it of her own free will. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to something good. Church leaders counsel us to serve oftenbut not to the point that we become burned out. King Benjamin provided enlightened advice in the Book of Mormon: “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength” (Mosiah 4:27).

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that you can still serve and do justice to your responsibilities. But also remember to take care of yourself and to prioritize what’s most important. Learning when to say no is an essential part of recognizing when you’re able to say yes.

Read more about setting healthy boundaries in “Enough, Already,” by Katie Barrett.

Source: ChurchofJesusChrist.org

 —Samantha Worrall, Mormon Insights


Find more insights

Check out “All Things in Wisdom and Order,” by Elder John C. Taggart, to learn five guiding principles for how to faithfully navigate the multitude of demands on your time.

To discover how to prioritize your commitments, read the talk “Good, Better, Best,” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

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  1. It’s great to have a reminder sometimes that you’re not a bad person just for saying no. This article led me to the source article which was also a great read.

  2. Pingback: How to Prioritize and Accomplish What Matters Most - Latter-day Saint Insights

  3. Pingback:  How to Keep Your Balance   - Latter-day Saint Insights

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