Elton John says, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”.
I think the hardest word for an HSP to say is “No”.
Not a surprise. Because if you’re used to your feelings being judged rather than accepted, it will be a risky thing to base a decision (a ‘no’) on them.
And HSPs are used to their feelings being commented on or questioned. And told they’re ‘making too much’ of something or are ‘too affected’ by things.
All of this, inevitably, leads an HSP to doubt themselves.
If you’re not sure of your emotions and reactions, the thought of taking a stand and saying ‘no’ doesn’t feel like an option. Especially if saying, ‘yes’ brings benefits – like a role, a sense of identity, acceptance and belonging.
But, as you probably know, feeling ‘no’ and not saying it can lead to all sorts of problems. Inner turmoil, exhaustion, resentment, anger at yourself and others.
Being able to say ‘no’ is about honouring your own needs and making yourself as important as everyone else. Maybe even sometimes more important (I know, a scary and unfamiliar thought!).
What if you started giving yourself permission to notice (just for yourself) when you say ‘yes’ but want to say ‘no’? And allowing yourself to think (again for yourself) why it is you’d like to say ‘no’?
Maybe ‘no’ needn’t be the hardest word in future. But the first person to convince of that is yourself. And you will – the more you listen to your feelings and trust your instinct.
I’ll leave you with two quotes (would love to attribute them but sadly both are anonymous):
“You can be a nice person, and have a kind heart, and still say no.”
“If you want more time, freedom and energy, start saying no.”