This is a difficult thing for most women. Girls are raised to keep the peace and make everyone happy. As we grow older, we want to please our parents, our teachers, our boyfriends, our bosses, our kids, etc. Once we get married and have babies, our lives are all about other people. We are told  and it is also implied everywhere to be selfish is wrong. We learn very early to put everyone first because that is what a good woman does. This causes us so many problems, from getting in trouble with men to just being very unhappy and unfulfilled in our lives.

I fell into this same trap. I was a good mom. I tried to be a good wife. I volunteered at the schools as my kids were growing up. I decided years ago, late in my marriage to start taking care of me and being selfish at times. It obviously didn’t go over with my ex but I had been unhappy and controlled for so long. I honestly thought that if I became the woman he married again that it would help our marriage. I had become dependent on him  and was definitely not the strong woman that I had been when I was in the Army and met him. I did many things to work on myself. I started exercising again, eating better, went on anti-depressants, and started learning to say no.

In the dating world, learning to say no is very important. I have learned that if someone doesn’t like “no” to a request and cannot accept it, that I do not want them in my life. “No” to a date, “no” to a place for a date, “no” to sex, “no” to a phone call, NO!!! When you learn to say “NO”, you also start to learn what is important and when to say “Yes.” and mean it. Yes becomes much more valuable when it is meant. When yes is said out of habit, it means nothing. When I say yes now, it means something as does No when I say it. I quit compromising on things that are important to me. I will compromise on some things but if it is important enough for me to feel no inside, then it is “NO”.

I encourage all of you, especially women to learn to say “NO!” and be able to say “YES” when you truly mean it. It will make you much happier and stronger.

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