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Old 12-06-2013, 11:11 AM
 
50 posts, read 62,785 times
Reputation: 33

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I really want to get better at this in the new year, but even as I try now, I get guilt tripped if I so much as say no for not wanting to do something extra. I have been used to saying yes for so long, but I feel exhausted just trying to be everything to everybody that I feel like I need to start setting boundaries or I will get taken advantage of.

Here are some examples:

I already work six days a week, and my manager continues to push for extra hours because it's too busy on one night a week. Last Saturday, I had plans to complete my shift and then take a road trip for the night with two friends. My manager took issue with my availability and prior plans (which were made and paid for before he asked people to work last Saturday night) and was like "Well I know you'll be tired, but can't you come home and work late night?" I tried to say no, but he pushed anyway and gave up only because someone else said they would work. He tells me on one hand not to feel obligated to work extra shifts, but then he gets almost upset when I try to make plans outside of my work hours or take time off. I was even asked if I would log in and do shifts when I took my vacation in August. I had to tell him only in extreme emergencies before he let it rest and realized I deserved a vacation. My mom tells me I have to say yes to look good so I continue to receive promotions and raises, but I also want a life. If it's OK for someone who works every Saturday to call out three of five Saturdays of the month (because she is taking the weekends off to be with her husband or do family things), why can't I have my own life and not constantly take extra hours?

I have trouble around my dad's family. They often invite 15-20 people over for a family gathering and I get overwhelmed in big, loud crowds, which is what my dad's family is. They even have the alcohol loaded up so people can get drunk and louder. One time, I missed a family gathering when I was younger and was referred to as "rotten" behind my back. (I don't remember exactly what year it was, but I do remember I was close to 18 or over that age.) If I want to go be alone to read a book and try to get quiet, people demand to know why even though I have spoken to family by the time I escape.

Then today I didn't want to dog sit for my aunt because I wanted to enjoy my only day off this week and didn't want to book a family obligation. My aunt called and asked because her original dog sitter backed out, forgetting about another commitment. She gave no indication that there was pay involved and that she just wanted me to be there. I told her no, and when my mom found out, she told me I was selfish and can't be so possessive of my day off work. I got the speech "but your aunt has been so good to you! I can't believe you said no!"

Keep in mind that I am long an adult (late 20s) and not a 16-year-old who is still under parental control. My other adult siblings seem to be able to make their own decisions without having to deal with my mom, though she'll say she is still worried about them and some of the things they do. (None of these things are life-threatening or super risky, but she worries about them anyway.)

How can I find more balance in my life? I find that I'm depressed, but God forbid that I admit that because I'll be seen in the family and among all the other happy joy people as a "Debbie Downer."
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,471 posts, read 74,358,652 times
Reputation: 47872
u might be codependent.
see a counselor and maybe consider 12 step coda if recommended.
see link. read patterns and characteristics.

http://www.sdccoda.org/
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,492 posts, read 3,872,868 times
Reputation: 9872
Perhaps it's just the word 'no'. I'm serious. No sounds negative to your own ears and brings up guilt.

Next time, try 'I'm sorry but I have an appointment' or 'I won't be around that day' or 'I've made plans with friends'. And don't feel you have to explain who, what or where - just say you can't change your plans on such short notice.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,867 posts, read 17,179,158 times
Reputation: 40698
Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
Perhaps it's just the word 'no'. I'm serious. No sounds negative to your own ears and brings up guilt.

Next time, try 'I'm sorry but I have an appointment' or 'I won't be around that day' or 'I've made plans with friends'. And don't feel you have to explain who, what or where - just say you can't change your plans on such short notice.
Another tip is use what some people call "the broken record". Just repeat the same phrase no matter what arguments the other person says.

Can you work on Saturday?
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."
We really need you.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."
But, Susie called in sick.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."
Everyone needs to be a team player!
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."
You really need to work Saturday, even though it is your day off.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."
You being selfish not to work!
"I'm sorry, I can't. I already have plans."

This works well for both business and private situations.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:14 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 39,971,112 times
Reputation: 62022
Tell the manager you have plans on your day off and do not give in no matter how much he pushes.
He is the manager it is up to him to cover any hours that other employees cannot cover.
Tell your Mother if she wants to work 7 days a week you will get her an application.
Then tell your Mother she should care for the Aunt's dog on her day off because you have plans that do not include dogs, aunts, mother's or guilt.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
15,081 posts, read 11,987,482 times
Reputation: 16526
Excellent answers.
I will add read 'Codependent No More'.
I think there is one called Assertiveness Training.
THEN, Read Ayn Rand "The Fountainhead".
Ha, that outta do it.

Start slowly practicing the above examples...and watch how the world didn't end
by saying no....ya have to put your face mask on first, before anyone else's.
Good luck, you're on your way...to strength, clarity and power.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Sunny Bay Area, CA
1,568 posts, read 1,775,423 times
Reputation: 3245
As Berger put in his post-it break-up note to Carrie:

"I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me."


I used to have something like this, and for me it definitely was a co-dependent issue and definitely a fear of the word NO. Sounds crazy but it's true!

OP, I had a therapist who helped me get through my co-dependent issues. I'd suggest that for you, if you have access to one. Or look it up online, find some books on it.

Wishing you lots of luck on this!
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill PA
1,929 posts, read 1,861,310 times
Reputation: 3925
You need to start believing that you deserve to be a little selfish sometimes. Stop worrying about what people think so much or what they say about you. Their problem is their problem not yours.

I used to gave the same sort of issues with saying no. I was always the one to come to the rescue and fix everything for other people. It was hard to stop at first but a huge weight off when I finally was able to stop. You have to let people deal with their ow issues and not always do it for them. Meanwhile you need to take care of yourself.

People really do need to stop thinking of being a little selfish as always a bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary in order for us to be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:38 PM
 
3,737 posts, read 9,568,501 times
Reputation: 6957
Never give a detailed excuse because the person asking will come up with all kinds of reasons your excuse is not good enough. The previous response mentioned of "I am sorry. I can't. I have other plans." is the best. Repeat as many times as necessary. Write it down, practice it over and over in front of the mirror.

You are in charge and they will find someone else guaranteed.

I never knew how happy it would make me to be able to simply say. "No, I am not interested or don't want to or I am busy." It took lots of practice.

It is also good to take a moment to think of yourself before responding.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:46 PM
 
11,016 posts, read 8,436,896 times
Reputation: 27719
Not being able to say no is rooted in fear of not being like, losing love, or some other insecurity. Ask yourself what you're afraid of.

No one can make you feel guilty. YOU choose how you feel. Sure, people can tell you a sad story or make a request but YOU decide how you respond to all of that.
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