Do you struggle with resentment? Do you feel stressed out by the endless requests from others? Do you feel hurt when others don't see or value you? Does someone always need something from you?
Stress is a major contributor to weight gain & chronic disease, and feeling resentful is a huge source of stress for many of my patients.
That’s why this week’s post is all about the number one solution for resentment...
learn to say no.
I had a powerful lesson in the value of an honest yes and an honest no this past week.
- I had reached out to someone I met a year ago at a conference because I was looking for an IT solution, and I thought he might have an answer.
- He replied and gave me an answer.
- I thanked him.
Then I received a long message about the fact that he charges for these kinds of solutions. He went on to say that people take advantage of his kindness and generosity, asking him for free advice all the time, and that because of that it’s difficult to support his family.
Woah, I thought. I didn't take advantage of you. I asked you a question. If you didn’t want to answer it, you could’ve said no. If you wanted to charge me for the answer, you could’ve replied and said, “happy to help, here are your options...” and presented an option for me to pay for a consultation.
In a nutshell, your boundaries...your job!
And of course the real lesson was... my boundaries, my job because these things only hit hard when they're lessons I need to be learning. And it inspired me to spend the next several days looking at all the places I was trying to make others responsible for respecting my boundaries instead of respecting them myself.
So... If you’re feeling weighed down by a sense of obligation to others, learn to say yes and no with integrity. That means, don’t say yes when deep down inside you want to say no. And if you do say yes, stop blaming the person who made the request for your fatigue and frustration. The responsibility lies in your response to the request.
This is NOT about blaming yourself. It’s about taking back your power.
Here’s where this may be showing up in sneaky ways...
If you go eat pizza with friends even though you’re trying to eat healthier because that’s what they wanted, your yes wasn’t honest. Don’t be mad at them when you feel crummy tomorrow. Do be honest about your goals and preferences the next time you’re going out to dinner.
If you resentfully pick up the tab for your friend who always forgets her wallet, your yes wasn’t honest. Don’t be mad at her when you have nothing to save at the end of the month. Do be clear in advance of your next lunch date that you’ll be getting separate checks.
If you never have time for the gym because the PTA expects you to volunteer for every bake sale, your yes was not honest. Don’t be mad at the PTA president when you’re huffing and puffing up the stairs. Do set limits to when you are and aren’t available for volunteering.
The benefit of setting boundaries is that it gives you control of your own life. It lets you regulate your energy. It puts you back in the drivers seat of your own health.
And when you say yes and no with integrity, the people around you will trust you more. They won’t fear that you’ll say yes, but resent them for it, which leaves all the parties uneasy.
So let's all lighten up by releasing the weight of resentment.