No is not a dirty word

An important part of being an adult is being a good parent to yourself. In other words, looking out for your own well-being.

This means giving yourself permission to say no – to anything that doesn’t serve you.

If you’re used to saying yes a lot, saying no might be a bit difficult at first. Especially if, like so many people, you are worried about what others might think of you. Or, if you feel like you are letting someone else down by saying no.

Being a good parent is actually a form of practicing good self-care. It’s about being learning to be kind to you.

Now, if learning to behave in a loving way towards yourself is going to be a process, you’re not alone. I know that I was well-practiced at lecturing myself and pointing out my own mistakes, and it took time to re-learn those habits.  It can take some practice to become a good parent.

The first step is noticing how you typically talk to yourself. It’s all too common for many of us to over-commit, or say yes to things we really don’t want to do, and then berate ourselves for not getting it all done.

Honor what you really want or need: practice saying no.

Saying no to what you don’t want leaves you plenty of time to say yes to what you do.

Is it worth it?

A friend recently asked this question: “What makes relationships/friendships worth not giving up on?”

The short answer? If you have to ask yourself if any relationship (romantic or otherwise) is worth it, the answer is that it probably isn’t.

Unfortunately, some people and situations will just be a drain on your energy (as well as your time). What constitutes a drain differs from person to person, but when you come upon an energy vampire, you will know it. How? By the way that you feel.

Take a moment to think about some of the people in your life. Which ones do you consistently look forward to spending time with? Which ones lift you up and allow you to be your best self? Which ones encourage you and support your dreams? These are the relationships that are worth it.

Now, of course, it’s important to look at the overall tone of the relationship. Just because someone in your life has a bad day, or a bad week, doesn’t mean it’s time to give them the boot. But if you notice a pattern of behavior that leaves you drained, depressed, discouraged and exhausted, it’s time to walk.

Likewise, if it feels like the relationship is a constant battle in which your needs never get met, or in which you find yourself virtually begging the other person to consider your feelings and your perspective, it’s time to leave. The sooner the better.

You’ll not regret taking care of you. But you will certainly regret sacrificing your peace of mind and emotional well-being in order to keep questionable people in your life.