I draw a line quickly and if you cross it, well that’s it for our relationship. As an adult, I have grown to believe that things are not random, that people are in my life for a reason.When I was younger, I was just too nice and accommodating and that allowed people around me really take advantage of me. My feelings were always sacrificed for another’s happiness or needs. How am I going to find out what the reason is if I don’t allow the relationship to develop? Where do you draw the line between accommodating others and being abused.Conflict certainly tests those boundaries and confrontation is never easy.People are generally not aware of what they say or how they behave.Other red flags that you're being overly accommodating: Right after saying yes, you feel your stomach drop or your heart race, or you get anxious and wonder how you'll ever get it done. To quash requests, even when the prospect makes you uncomfortable: 1. Reassuring the other person about the opportunity you're turning down is one way to soften a rejection, Rego says. As tempting as it is to get into the many reasons why you can't attend your co-worker's birthday drinks, offering a simple, "Sorry, I can't make it! Overexplaining opens up the possibility of working around your unavailability, Newman says. Try: "No, I won't be able to be the PTA treasurer next year; I'm sorry." You've taken a stand, which can help you stick to your guns.
"In this age of constant electronic connectedness, requests are coming at us every waking hour, making it even more important to be able to put your foot down," says Roni Cohen-Sandler, Ph D, a clinical psychologist in Weston, Connecticut.
Women may have a harder time saying no, psychologists and sociologists theorize, because of the way we're raised to value connections.
"Even if you are a very successful person, you're not going to feel great unless your relationships are harmonious," Cohen-Sandler says.
"And in our culture, women get the message that saying no is tantamount to being difficult, so we're often not able to say no unless we're at the end of our rope." Bowing out pay off, notes Rego: "Putting your foot down more often lowers stress and improves your confidence and well-being." Follow these simple guidelines to knowing when, and how, to make the most of this sanity-saving two-letter word.
Read your body It's natural to want to be generous and "give up your own needs to meet someone else's," says Linda Tillman, Ph D, a psychologist at Emory University in Atlanta.