Addicts and Alcoholics sometimes have a hard time telling people they can’t do something. A lot of us have learned to ‘people-please’ to get others to like us and to, therefore, feel okay. The motive behind this behavior is different for some than it is for others. Ultimately, though, it is laced with a desire not to rock the boat, so to speak.
Learning to Say No | Practicing Boundaries in Sobriety
Boundaries in recovery are vital to your well being. That’s why we want to emphasize and bring home that “No.” is a complete sentence. You may have heard that before. What does it mean, though? Well, for starters, it’s emphasizing the idea that nothing else needs to be said. Saying ‘no’ will do the trick. And stopping at ‘no’ will bring it home. There’s no need to explain away further. You can if you please. However, it’s not necessary. Okay, but what does this have to do with addiction and recovery?
How You’ll Benefit
Here’s the truth: you can feel okay and say “no!” Having both is possible. Practicing your boundaries in recovery by saying ‘no’ is likely to bring some discomfort at first. Fear not! As soon as you begin to practice, you’ll find that you’re a natural. This is because the pay off will be high enough that you’ll be willing to face the initial dread of disappointing somebody. What used to be the mental anguish at feeling spread thin because of your tendency to overcommit is going to become the peaceful space where you can do something nice for yourself.
They pay-off doesn’t end with personal satisfaction alone. Often you’re going to find that though it may not be what others want to hear, they’ll respect you. Whether it’s because you’re respecting yourself enough to say ‘no’ or because they like that you’ll tell them the truth, it’ll happen. And, should the reasons listed above still not be enough for you, keep this in mind: you may be an example for somebody else. For a lot of us, this holds high reward!
Putting It into Practice
Start practicing saying ‘no’ today, and you’re well on your way to strengthening your boundaries in recovery. Before we close, we should distinguish that we are not advocating for you to say ‘no’ just to say it. Sure, you’ll want to say ‘yes’ when you can and when it is appropriate. You’re not going to get the practice perfect, either.
What will happen instead? You’re more likely to have a process of trial and error. Get to it! Or will you be starting your practice by saying ‘no’ to us? We’re just kidding because you’re only allowed to start after you say ‘yes’ to the practice of ‘no.’
As always, you can find more bogs about sobriety here.