It is not always easy to say ‘no’ to people, but it has to be done. As you start the new year, you may put yourself first and get comfortable with disappointing people.
Psychologist Dr Nicole Le Pera counts herself as one of the people who will be disappointing others. She says, from childhood, she has suffered from the “good girl” conditioning that has made her neglect her needs.
She shared on social media: “One of my clearest childhood memories is my mom rehearsing excuses with me. I really don’t have many childhood memories, and this one sticks out. It went something like this: I told my mom I didn’t want to go to a friend’s party. She gave me lines of how to make up an excuse, and we practised together. Then, with anxiety running through my body, I made the call. I think I was around 10 years old.”
What “good girl” beliefs include, according to Dr Nicole:
-I can’t just say no or turn down an invite: I have to have an acceptable reason.
-And I must over-apologise and over-explain that reason.
– It’s not okay to disappoint people.
– My needs don’t really matter; my role in life is to be liked.
“The past couple of years, I’ve noticed this “good girl” conditioning comes up often. I witness in myself a knee-jerk reaction to not check-in with myself about how I feel but instead act from a space of not wanting to upset someone else. And, here’s the thing: when I do this, I make people small,” she wrote.