This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.
I've never been good at saying no. People pleasing, compulsive compassion, Wonder Womaning, Parker Posey party girling, and exaggerated empathy have long led to cycles of overdrive followed by burnout. These imbalanced ways of reacting to the world are definitely learned behavior.Growing up, I got plenty of messages about being a caretaker and putting others first while also being successful and sexy-Enjoli (look it up, millennials). But I am a grown-ass woman now and am learning to say no. My friend Maria uses the phrase "Inner No-ing." I say, say yes to Inner No-ing. "No" is a complete sentence.
But why is it so hard to say it? And mean it? For me, there are a few things operating (they feed into and on each other):