Queen of Your Own Life by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff

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Queen of Your Own Life

Saying No Will Not Destroy You

She Smiled to Herself is an original, trademarked digital art piece and writing by authors Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. http://QueenofYourOwnLife.comShe smiled politely and simply said, “I’m sorry. I can’ this time.” The ground did not swallow her up. And she smiled and thought, “note to self.” ~ Queenisms™

It can be uncomfortable when we go from being a serial yes sayer to setting some boundaries with others. This can be especially challenging when the boundaries we’re trying to set are with our families and closest friends. Why? Because we already set up an expectation of being “all things to all people,” and when we change the rules and start taking care of ourselves, we can put others on the defensive. Changing the rules might take a little extra gentle persuasion to get everyone on board. One idea is to sit the boundary crosser down and honestly say “Because you’re my dear friend, I wanted you to be the first to know I’ve decided to take a big step toward taking better care of myself. I have always looked to you for support and I hope I can count on you this time too. I’m going to be very conscious of my time going forward so I don’t get overwhelmed and overworked. I’m going to be telling people, honestly, if I need to say no. It’s hard for me but I need to do this. Can I count on you to back me up?”

If you’re trying to set boundaries with friends and loved ones, we’d love to hear your experiences. Let share and help one another.

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4 Responses to “Saying No Will Not Destroy You”

  1. Jane says:

    I am going to paste this saying on my forehead! It is very difficult to deal with friends who are generally loving yet simply cannot accept the words “NO” and “sorry” now that I have other very important priorities in my life. This happens especially in my women’s volunteer groups! The guilt trip tactics used to manipulate the one who says “NO” can be overwhelming. Wish there was a foolproof method to resolve this dilemma!

  2. cindy says:

    We like to use phrases like this: “I love volunteering and I particularly love doing it with you. So I’m taking extra good care of myself and my limited time these days so that I can continue to show up and volunteer without burning out. I’m asking you to support me and understand than when I say no, it’s because I have other commitments. And I promise that when I say yes, you’ll have both me, and my heart. And, I also promise to support you as you take care of yourself.”

  3. Caryn says:

    I know this stuff… I’ve even written books about setting boundaries and saying no! But this is a cunning and baffling issue that I need frequent reminders about… and these Queens have a light and often humorous way of helping me remember not to enable those that I love. I’m an RN… a Caregiver by trade and by nature. This Queenism will be posted on my mental mirror!

  4. Jane says:

    Excellent advice and helpful phrases to use that end the conversation with positive feelings –and less hurt for both sides.
    Cindy, Thank you!

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