How to Say NO – Without Fear or Guilt

By Michele Nieves | Healing Narcissistic Abuse

May 07

It’s a small, two letter word that is often one of the first words in a child’s vocabulary – and yet it is also one of the most difficult words to say in our adult life – that word is – NO!!

Why does saying no, establishing boundaries and caring for our internal needs become more and more difficult as we age, as opposed to easier and easier?

We have to understand that while our conscious mind recognizes that saying no is important and extremely doable, if our subconscious programming is hardwired and conditioned to view saying no & standing up for ourselves as dangerous… then no amount of conscious logic is going to help us to overcome the fear of saying no.

That’s why I created this video: Empaths – How to Say No – Overcome Fear of Conflict & Guilt https://youtu.be/9gPw2-t6ajM

In order to change the present, we have to get to the root of the problem; we need to tap into that childhood programming in order to tweak it into a more empowering programming, instead of a limiting one.

As children, so many of us were trained to abandon ourselves. If we said no, or stood up for ourselves, or even cared about how we truly felt – toxic parents had the ability to punish us until the pain was so excruciatingly powerful that we were wiling to do anything to stop the pain – even abandon our needs.

A child of a Toxic parent is not allowed to be sick when the parent needs that child – they are forced to live up to the expectations of their parents regardless of how they feel. Children learn quickly that life is not about how they feel or what they need, rather it’s about doing anything and everything to avoid the rage or emotional abandonment inflicted upon them.

Life becomes all about survival. A child, especially a young child, cannot live without their caregivers – they need them for survival. So if saying no, or caring for their needs is met with severe emotional anguish and punishment – the child learns to do anything and everything to avoid that pain. They are considered disrespectful and ‘bad’ children if they ever contemplate telling their toxic parent that they don’t feel well enough to comply, or to tell them that they had a bad day and need some alone time. Standing up for and/or expressing their needs is met with a parent that chastises them, punishes, emotionally abandons and at times becomes physically violent.

In my coaching practice, one woman told me that while she was still in the relationship with a narcissist, her 9 year old daughter would shift personalities right before her eyes.

“One day,” she recalled, ” my daughter was telling me about how she had a bad day in school, she was really down. But then her father walked in the room and her back straightened, she plastered a smile on her face and when he asked her what was wrong, she told him nothing, that she had a great day.”

When that client asked her daughter that evening why she hid the fact that she was having a bad day from her father, she replied: “Dad gets mad when I talk about things like that.”

Sadly, without truly understanding what was going on, that young girl knew from a very young age that her feelings were not OK, they were not important and she needed to care more about making others happy than making herself happy.

The good news is that the programming installed in us as children is not permanent – it can be upgraded!! The first step is to recognize what our personal programming is – not only do we need to see that saying no is difficult, but we need to understand why!! The second step is to heal the emotional flashbacks (please see the link to the video in this post to help you with that), and the third step is to begin living our life with our new programming. Repetition for emphasis – the more we apply these 3 steps the stronger our new programming will become!

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About the Author

Nobody understands what you're going through more than someone who has been there. I grew up with narcissistic family member and had intimate relationships with malignant narcissists. For the majority of my healing journey, I felt as if I was all alone. I now dedicate my life to being the person for others, that I needed on my own healing journey, so that YOU never feel alone.