Discover Yourself Health & Wellness

Time to Learn to Say No without Feeling Guilty

November 27, 2015

Give yourself permission to say noSaying ‘No’ without feeling guilty is not easy, but it is high time I learned how to.  As part of The Wisdom Bloggers Sisterhood Facebook page we were given a FREE copy of “Me, Myself & I – 28 Days of Creative Self Love’ by Cheryl Bridges, and encouraged to write our thoughts on what we took away from the messages in the book.

It is a wonderful book which takes you on a journey of self-discovery.

At first I thought it was not for me as it can be interactive as you work through each chapter.  However, once you get over yourself and relax there is a wealth of information.

One chapter that resonated with me was Chapter 6 ‘Boundaries’ in particular the ability to say ‘No’

Why do we struggle to say ‘No’?

I have always had a problem with saying ‘No’ to people and I know that it is a common problem especially among women.  We have been brought up to be helpful and to put others first, especially our partners and children.  How many times did our mother forgo part of a meal so that the child could have it?  or Wore the same dress so the children could have the best?

I’ve previously written posts about the need to be learn to love yourself and the fact that we need to be selfish sometimes.  Of course this goes against the grain but if we do take the time to nurture ourselves and have some ‘ME’ time, the positive results for ourselves, family and friends is worth the time invested in YOU.

Saying ‘NO’ without feeling guilty is one of the hardest things for me to do, but reading through Chapter 6 I found that I need to for my own self-worth and happiness.

It doesn’t mean that I have to give up my ‘giving nature’ or change my personality.  It just means that I can be selective of what I want to agree to.  I love helping people but it can become a chore and the liberating feeling when you say ‘I’m sorry I can’t this time’ is like a weight being lifted off you.  True friends and family who love you will not be offended and you will stronger and more in control of your life.

It is time to learn to say NO without feeling guiltyClick To Tweet

Here are some wonderful mantras that we can use to assist us with becoming more confident in setting boundaries and having the courage to say ‘No’.

  • As I decide where I end and others begin, I grow more confident in maintaining healthy boundaries.

  • I am learning new ways to care deeply for others without having to be everything to everybody.

  • I am free to determine what’s important to me and to ask that others respect that.

  • I create my own comfort zones, deciding what is best for me. I am clear about my needs and desires and speak them without hesitation to myself and to others as I choose.

  • I honor and respect the ability of others to act on their own behalf and to learn from their actions. We are all okay. My needs are met more and more as I learn to name them.

I am still working through the book but I would encourage you to get a copy, you will be a better person for it.

28 days of creative self love

Let’s Keep Sizzling!



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  • Reply Marva @ sunSPARKLEshine November 28, 2015 at 11:39

    Hi Sue, thanks for sharing about this book. Saying ‘no’ can be difficult at times, but I heard once that saying no to certain things allow us to say yes to the things that really matter. That has helped me look at saying no in a whole new light. Wishing you blessings for the holidays!

    • Reply sue November 29, 2015 at 16:20

      Oh I love that saying Marva! ‘saying no to certain things allow us to say yes to things that really matter’ what a wonderful quote. Thank you for stopping by to comment and for your blessings which I return to you and your family

  • Reply Kaitlyn November 29, 2015 at 05:33

    Sue, I just wanted to say I always enjoy reading your threads. You write to elegantly and passionately, and are so encouraging. I know you aren’t speaking directly, but for me the hardest thing to say no to is my MIL. It is suuuuuch a struggle to not overstep boundaries between her son and she, and I fail on a regular basis. Without the foundation of respect though, ti often turns into me saying no and feeling so guilty when I shouldn’t and feel such grief in her presence.

    I thank you for your words, and when I finish a few other workbooks I have purchased over time, I may return to ask you about this one. I love self-help, and often have trouble finding time to work on self.

    • Reply sue November 29, 2015 at 16:22

      I’m so pleased you enjoy reading my threads and I appreciate your kind words about my writing. I know what you mean about MIL, mine is Italian so you can imagine! I’m sure you don’t fail but sometimes we just don’t feel good enough do we? It is hard to find time for ourselves and especially as you have Noah who isn’t well. Take care and message me anytime.

  • Reply Cheryl November 30, 2015 at 11:08

    I appreciate your wonderful insights on how we can begin to love ourselves by saying no, Sue! I love imagining the old anti-drug program’s slogan in bold letters, “JUST SAY NO!” when it comes time for me to decline an invitation that I would accept only out of obligation. Thanks for sharing about the power of no and creative self-love!

    • Reply sue November 30, 2015 at 12:56

      Thank you Cheryl and thank you for your wonderful book. I am really enjoying finding my self love although it isn’t easy.

  • Reply Julia Colon November 30, 2015 at 23:40

    Good morning Sue! It was so lovely to read your post this morning. Reminds me of a time when I was afraid to say no because of what the other person would think or say. Today I’m a different woman and I’m not afraid to say “No”. Reflecting on myself based on your blog post makes me feel very proud of who I am today. Thank you for helping make my morning beautiful.

    • Reply sue December 1, 2015 at 12:40

      Hello Julia! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my post and you felt proud of yourself. I still struggle with No but keep on trying. Thank you for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful day

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill December 2, 2015 at 17:31

    I didn’t end up reading the book – it felt a little bit too new-age-y for my taste, but there would have definitely been areas of good advice within it. The ability to say No is a tricky one for women of our generation (our daughters are much better at it than we are!) and I particularly liked the point “I am free to determine what’s important to me and to ask that others respect that.” So true!

    • Reply sue December 3, 2015 at 13:47

      Hi Leanne, I’m working through it although mainly reading the chapters. It wasn’t as new-age-y as I thought once you get into it. I think I will always be working on the ability to say ‘No’. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  • Reply Life Loving December 7, 2015 at 03:43

    Sue this is a really important post. I think you are right, so many people, particularly women agree to do everything without understanding fully the strain it puts on them. I hope I am as strong as you and can say no when I need to. Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely bear these wise words in mind next time I am thinking of committing myself to something i could do with saying ‘no’ to.

    Sally @ Life Loving

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 7, 2015 at 10:18

      Thank you Sally! It is still hard to say ‘NO’ I’m not sure we ever feel truly comfortable but we have to try. Thanks for stopping by to comment and hope to hear from you again.

  • Reply Tracey Abrahams December 7, 2015 at 16:53

    I have always had a problem saying no to people in the past, but as my mental health has got worse, I have found I HAVE to say no more because I am not able to do more. #Mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2015 at 12:59

      Hi Tracey! It is a shame when we get to that stage isn’t it. I hope you feel better and thanks for stopping by to comment. Have a great day!

  • Reply Charlotte December 7, 2015 at 19:02

    Thanks for sharing – I struggle to say no to people, even in situations where I am taking on more than I can chew! next time I might think of these mantras and see if it helps!! #Mg – I shared too 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2015 at 12:50

      Hi Charlotte I feel exactly the same way but we do have to try don’t we otherwise we just wear ourselves out. Thank you for stopping by and I really appreciate you sharing the post as well. Have a lovely day 🙂

  • Reply Mrs Tubbs December 7, 2015 at 22:58

    Some great advice for saying no here. I wish I was better at doing it. Saved for when I need a reminder. Thank you

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2015 at 12:51

      Hello there! We are all pretty bad at saying No but if we at least try we won’t be chasing our tails all the time. Thank you for stopping by and saving my post. Have a great day!

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville December 8, 2015 at 11:49

    love the sayings! Great advice there, I have gotten so much better at saying no, but not better at feeling guilty for it, one step at a time! Like last week I felt I needed to be there for Steve and the kids, but it meant neglecting the blog, it was so hard for me, but I’m glad I did what I needed to do. Thanks for sharing this fab post xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 8, 2015 at 12:55

      Yes being a mum is a guilt trip in itself Mackenzie! Are we doing the right thing? Are the kids okay? In the end we all do a pretty good job. Thanks for stopping by to comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply Krista-lee-Pfeiffer December 18, 2015 at 07:38

    Great post. I agree, learning to say no has been so liberating for me. I’ve also learned that I don’t need to apologize for it or offer excuses. Like you said, good friends will understand that if you say no, there’s obviously a good reason. And if they’re not good friends, well then, the reason isn’t really any of their business anyway.

    I don’t know, maybe I’ve taken this saying no thing to far, lol. But my life experiences have taught me the importance of setting healthy boundaries for myself and my sanity. I think this post will help a lot of people, especially women. You’ve inspired me and gotten me all riled up, lol. I may write a blog post on the subject myself =-) Definitely sharing this! Thanks! -Krista

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2015 at 13:07

      Oh thank you so much for sharing and stopping by to comment Krista! I admire people who have conquered the ability to say NO and you are right when you say how important setting healthy boundaries are. I’m happy to have inspired you! Have a lovely weekend.

  • Reply Christina January 11, 2017 at 09:34

    Learning to say no without guilt is something we can all use help with!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 11, 2017 at 12:53

      Yes I’m not sure I ever really succeed to completely come to terms with saying No but I’m improving!

  • Reply Getting back on track with your fitness goals - Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond March 15, 2017 at 01:01

    […] There is so much pressure to perform in all areas of our lives that sometimes life gets in the way and we feel overwhelmed.  Of course, a lot of this pressure and stress is self-imposed.  We feel responsible for our families and wanted to make sure they are all okay, we have work commitments and social commitments and as I’ve written before, it is difficult to say ‘NO’. […]

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