A conversation between two people:
Do you WANT to do that?
Sure.When some people say "sure" I don't feel concerned. When you say "sure", this is what I hear: "I can't even think about what I want. HE wants me to do that, so I will." Which means what you are really saying is, "I haven't thought about what I want yet, but I probably don't want to do it."
Of COURSE I don't want to, why would I want to do that?I don't know. Why would you?
I DON'T. But... I'm supposed to do what everyone else wants me to do, that makes me a kind person.No. It just makes you a slave to other people. I can't imagine that he wants you to feel like his slave. I think he probably actually cares about YOU... If you cared about someone, would you want them doing things they didn't want to do JUST because they felt like they had to... or JUST to make you happy... Only a really selfish, abusive, jerk would want you to do something you hated, just to make them happy. How could knowing you were miserable make someone else happy? I don't believe he's that kind of person. Do you?
No. It's just easier to do what other people want than to deal with the anxiety of disappointing them.Really? That's easier? You feel depressed and anxious most of the time. You feel guilty and afraid whenever anyone asks you to do anything (unless you also want to do it, then you feel happy. That's the way it is supposed to be. BOTH people are happy.). It might be easier, but I'd say it's killing you slowly. Besides, the fear of NOT pleasing them makes you avoid people. If you had the freedom to say NO, you'd also have the freedom to say YES. Being with other people would not freak you out as much as it does.
You have nothing to be afraid of. You are good and kind and wonderful. You will still be all of those things when you learn to let yourself do what you want. You will find that you want to do a lot of things for other people, and doing things for others won't wear you out like it does now. It will feel good. It will feel fun and loving and GOOD.
Ok? I can't really think about all that you just said. So, what do I say right now? How do I answer his question today?Say, "No".
Say, "I appreciate you asking, but I am not interested right now. If anything changes I'll let you know".
It doesn't really matter... You can even tell him how hard it is to say no, because you feel like you don't have a choice. You can tell him you feel like you have to do what he wants, but you don't want to... Just be honest with yourself, and understand you are worthy of having your own wants, needs, thoughts, and opinions. You get to decide what you do with your life.
When I was afraid that I couldn't say NO, I had a lot of social anxieties. I was afraid of every man, woman and child. What if they wanted something? I HAD to give them what they wanted. If someone asked for something, I had no choice. If someone looked like they might sort of kind of want something, I had no choice. It was my job to take care of everyone else, and the way I did that was to always do what everyone else wanted. The world was a terribly frightening place.
It WAS really hard to face the anxiety of saying NO, and even more scary to think about what I wanted. It was SO hard. I wasn't sure it was worth it at the time, but it got better. I got used to acknowledging my wants and needs. I got used to doing what I wanted, and they were right! I actually WANT to do a lot of things for and with other people. I am much more kind and giving person now, because I do things from my own heart. I don't do things out of obligation, guilt or fear.
I feel very comfortable in social situations now. If someone wants a hug, I think about what I want and I do that. (I CHOOSE.) If someone asks me a question, I decide what and how much I will share. If someone needs money, I decide how much I can and want to give. The world isn't scary anymore, because I know I can take care of myself.
Other people didn't change. I did!
I learned how to take care of myself. I learned how to respect me. I learned I had a choice. I had the right to say NO to any request, at any time, for any reason.
There are some people who don't care about my wants or needs... They care a lot about their own wants. Some people's needs include controlling others, controlling ME. When I encounter people like this, I find I have to be VERY strong. NO should be enough, but sometimes I have to get distance and space from them too.
There will always be people who don't understand or respect my boundaries. There will always be people who use manipulation, insults, and whatever else they have to do to get what they want. When I'm dealing with people like that, less is more. NO is enough. If I give my reasons, or my thoughts, they tend to use that against me.
There are still people who don't know how to handle it if I don't say YES. They just aren't used to me saying no. At first, they might do some manipulative things, but they won't KEEP doing those things. (This usually happens with family. They've known me all my life, and they just don't know how to handle "the new me". Explaining to them where I have been and why the change makes a lot of sense to them. Their love for me motivates them to become a part of the next group.)
For the most part, all of my relationships are better. Closer. More open. Just more.
There are some people who were afraid to ask anything of me. They knew how hard I tried to please others, and they didn't want to make it harder for me. Now they know I will take care of myself, and that gives them more freedom to take care of themselves.
It turns out, mm e becoming healthier and stronger made all of my relationships healthier and stronger. That was something I wasn't expecting.