You can say what you want. How do you feel about that? Does it make you nervous or give you a sense of freedom.
In one of my favourite childhood books, Alice in Wonderland, Alice is having a conversation with the March Hare, The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Come, we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles. — I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.
“Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?” said the March Hare.
“Exactly so,” said Alice.
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least, at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”
And when you look at the above with an adult’s logic you can see that in fact the March Hare was right – saying what you mean and meaning what you say are not the same at all are they?
How often have you wanted to say ‘no’ and found yourself saying ‘yes’ instead?
In so many situations sometimes you feel it’s polite – saying that was ‘delicious’ when you actually meant ‘yuck’.
Saying ‘of course it’s no trouble’ when you know it would mean driving out of your way and you’re tired and hungry and all you want to do is go home.
So why do you do it?
I think it’s because you want to please people at the expense of yourself.
You want to be helpful and feel if you said no you will let them down and they would think less of you.
I actually think the opposite is true
People become martyrs when they feel put upon. And saying ‘no’ would feel wrong.
But what would happen if you actually said what you mean?
No I can’t give you a lift tonight because I am tired and hungry and need to get home.
No, I can’t finish that report tonight but I will do it first thing in the morning.
No I don’t want another helping of chocolate cake thank you because apart from the fact I shouldn’t have had the first one, it was dry and tasteless!
Well you wouldn’t say the last bit – but you get the gist I’m sure!
You often say what you think other people want to hear.
I know of someone who is always helping people, going to hospitals to visit, the other day she had to be at a hotel at 9am in the morning because someone had their wallet stolen and she was going to the police with them.
There’s nothing wrong in being helpful but if you do, don’t complain afterwards about how tired you are – which is exactly what this particular person does.
It does take confidence to stand up for yourself, to say what you mean to say. I actually believe people will respect you more, they will see you have boundaries, you’re not a pushover.
They will also know that any time you say something, any time you say you will help out you’ll be doing it because you want to rather than because you feel you have to.
It could start simply with your immediate family, saying no get your own dinner tonight I’m tired
Like I always say – ‘ baby steps’
It’s part of the Me Time confidence package, part of you learning to love yourself. Speaking up for yourself. Being true to who you are. Once you start being true to your own feelings and wishes you will be surprised how people will start behaving toward you.
Not the old pushover at all but someone to be respected with boundaries.
Try it – I promise once you start it will become addictive. You will feel powerful and it will give you confidence. It’s showing the world that you count, which of course you do! Not sublimating your wishes to others.
So be more open, learn to say what you mean to say, you really can say what you want to.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on!
Connect here with WatchFit Adrienne Marks