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5 Things You Don’t Need To Feel Embarrassed About

5 Things You Don’t Need To Feel Embarrassed About

Do you find yourself apologizing or feeling embarrassed for things out of your control? Being a people-pleaser can be exhausting. We are all human and need to realize that not everything will go to plan. Here are 5 things you should stop feeling about about, though many people do:

1. Mistakes while learning

There will be times when you have people above you (a boss) or even next to you (a coworker) that will get really irritated with you for “ruining” something “crucial”. In five years from now, will your blunder cause the company to crumble? Most likely, the answer is no. Errors are bound to happen when you have on your training wheels.

Instead of apologizing to the angered person, try: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am still learning, and I appreciate your patience as I go through this learning experience.” What is the worst they can say back to that? Unless she is extremely narcissistic, she will realize that even though she may have done it right, we all have to start somewhere; it will take time to work out the kinks.

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Winston Churchill once said, “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking potential.” Even if you make mistakes and get a slap on the wrist, persevere and push on. You do not need to be embarrassed for learning from your mistakes

2. Food choices

People are different and have different taste buds. Some people find it appalling that someone would willing to choose to be vegan, while others can’t imagine life any other way.  Some may find it astounding that someone can live their whole lives downing a steak every night.

It shouldn’t matter why you have made this food decision. Whether it is healthy or not, food is a choice and it is a part of life. It is simply a personal choice that people make for their own reasons. You do not need to be embarrassed for food you do or do not like. Tell them, “It is a personal choice I have made, and I am committed to it.”

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3. Your past

“I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.” Allowing positive experiences to define, confine, refine, and outshine you may cause you to be caught up in the past and unable to truly live in the present. Whether your history is positive, negative, or somewhere in between, don’t hone in on the negative experiences and let it reflect your current behavior.

This idea can apply to relationships or jobs. If you start a new relationship after dating Person X, don’t get upset when Person Y does your relationship differently.  There will be new experiences, personalities, expectations, and schedules. When you start something new, take your past experiences with you, but don’t let it define your new start. Doing so will only lead to disappointment. It is a new start for a reason.

Your defeats and accomplishments (from Person/Job X) bring new insight and vision to the relationship, because remember, your new Person has a Person X as well. If you find yourself apologizing/throwing a pity party for yourself, STOP. Let the past go, and start fresh.

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4.The cleanliness of your car/home/work space

You offer to drive somewhere and when everyone gets in the car, you realize your Starbucks and Chik-Fil-A bag are still on the floor. Perhaps you have people over unexpectedly and the kids’ clothes are on the floor; there are dishes in the sink, and you haven’t dusted in weeks. So what?

Think about it this way: everyone has a “messy” aspect of their life. Maybe their home is spotless, but the relationship with their spouse is messy. Someone’s car gets washed once a week, but his/her work life could use some help. No one on Earth lives a perfectly “clean” life in every aspect.

We don’t apologize to others about our personal pitfalls (relationships, jobs, friendships, etc.), so why must we apologize for our homes or cars being a little dirty? By being outwardly embarrassed, it only brings more attention to the fact!

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5. Putting yourself first

Sometimes we feel pressured to say “yes” to every social outing, trip, or commitment to feel a part of the group or because we don’t want to let others down. Oftentimes, we only commit because we don’t want to feel left out. In some cases, we tend to think, “No one else will do it as successfully as I will, so I am the only one for the job.” This could be as simple as a night out, or something more time consuming like a higher position in your company.

When you get in to this situation, ask yourself, “What are the pros and cons? What else do I have on my plate that requires undivided attention? What will I gain from this commitment?” If you can honestly answer these questions and the outcome is positive, share these answers with the person who asked you to commit. If you find yourself saying no to something or making up lies to get out of it, tell them the truth, and don’t apologize.

You will feel much better in the long run if you are honest with them and yourself. If you’re not up to a voluntary obligation, you don’t have to be. You can politely deny the person’s request, whether it is a night out on the town or being team mom, without feeling badly about it. It is okay to be selfish from time to time. Put yourself first.

Featured photo credit: Young man wearing a fox mask sitting on sofa in front of a window. via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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