Why is it so Hard to say No?


For many of us, saying no is difficult. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We wouldn’t like it if someone were mad at us. We just go along with someone else’s program and sort of suck it up. Over time this can cause a lot of unhappiness for anyone who is doing something they don’t like doing. It can make us feel like victims.

Is being a victim to another person the thing to do? Does it really help the person we are trying to help, soothe, protect from disappointment, or whatever else is going on?

I used to feel like a victim and I did things for others that I really, really didn’t want to do. I sacrificed myself, you might say, to please others.

What is for My Highest Good is for the Highest Good of the Other Person

A person’s highest self would not want us to do their bidding at our expense on a continuing basis. I’m not referring to a parent who has underage children and responsibilities to care for them. Rather, this is about doing the wishes of adults when it isn’t good for us to do so.

A big realization for me is that whatever is for my highest good will be for the highest good of the other person, even if they don’t know it. What is best for us when we search our souls will be best for everyone else. This takes us right out of resentment and victimhood and brings us back to doing what is truly best for all concerned. And we will be happier because we follow what feels right to us.

Enabling VS Establishing Boundaries

Doing what you don’t want to do and shouldn’t have to do is called enabling. You are enabling someone else’s dependency, sense of entitlement, or inconsiderate behavior. If this enabling term pretty much describes you, then you have what are commonly called “boundary issues.” People who can’t say no and feel trapped often go to counselors, therapists, psychics, or Twelve Step groups such as Codependents Anonymous for help. Any of those resources can aid you in getting strong enough to set appropriate boundaries.

Boundary issues. How common they are with highly intuitive/psychic people. If you’re not sure if you have boundary issues, here is a test for you: is there someone in your life who often asks you to do favors for her or him but doesn’t seem any too eager to help you in return? I’m not talking about a close family member who is ill and needs you to help out. I am referring to a chronic condition where someone leans on you a lot for emotional support, money, and/or help with physical tasks. Yet this very same person isn’t available to help you in return.

What to Say When You Can’t Bear to Say NO

If you can’t imagine yourself saying no, try saying “That doesn’t work for me because ……” I think giving that person a reason why you can’t or don’t want to do something makes it easier to hold your boundary. For example, if someone asks you to come on the weekend to help paint the bedrooms, pay attention to how that feels for you. If you’re happy to do it, go ahead and help paint. But if you don’t want to do it, just say it doesn’t work for you and give a reason. You could say you have other plans, you’re too tired, you don’t like painting, or whatever is true for you. Then you can suggest something you would like to do with that person. Maybe you would like to suggest having coffee together next week or going to a movie.

Once you get out of the pattern of doing things you resent, you will be free. Won’t that be just great? I send you lots of blessings of love and courage to help you set yourself free from doing things for another that make you unhappy.

Shala Kilmer


  1. I do not have a problem saying no; I have a problem letting my yes mean yes, and my no mean no. Knowing this, I was wondering why I slip up, time and time again.

    I learned when saying no, not to give reasons. A sales technique: overcoming objections. A co-worker would say to people, “What part of no didn’t you get?” I forget to say that when someone tries to turn my no to yes.

    I suddenly woke up and realized I had gotten myself in a co-dependent relationship with of all things a Facebook game friend. I am still not clear on how I allowed her to manipulate me ~ turning my noes to okay. I guess she had a sense of entitlement; definitely inconsiderate or rude.

    Perhaps I will come up with a stock answer: No because that would not be good for our higher selves. Thank you.


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