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  • Dora Nudelman

The Power of "No"

For some people, saying "no" to the demands made of them by others is a really hard thing to do, and usually it's the empaths and nurturers of this world who fall into this group the most. But what is it about saying "no" that feels so wrong when, in fact, it may actually be the right thing to do?

As an empath and nurturer myself, it took me some years to realize that saying "yes" to everyone who asked was actually depleting to me. Even when I did say "no" I would often later second-guess myself, wondering if I was being mean or unjustified in doing so. Furthermore, sometimes I would get so tired of being taken advantage of that I would become extra defensive in rejecting people's requests of me. Now, I didn't realize it then but I had become an enabler, which in reality was not only bad for me, it was bad for the person on the other end of it too. Eventually, though, I had to take responsibility for my actions and realize that I simply didn't have the proper boundaries I needed to protect my own energy reserves.

Fast forward to today and I now know that I am not a bad person for saying "no" when I feel it in my gut to do so. All I am doing is following my intuition and my heart's desires. It does not make me uncaring, selfish, or crass to politely (and sometimes sternly) decline those requests or demands that do not feel right to me. I realize now that punishing myself for saying "no" to unjustified demands is counter-intuitive. And I realize now that the best way to feel good about my decisions is to only act from my heart rather than any false sense of obligation, guilt, or judgement.

So nowadays I only give by making a conscious decision to do so. My giving is mindful and, because of that, it is authentic. I take full ownership of my decisions and, for this reason, I no longer worry about how my giving (or not giving) will be

received or whether or not it will be reciprocated. If I don't want to give, I don't give, and I don't feel bad about it anymore. If I do want to give, I do so but without any agenda, expectation, or regret. Now, while I am not above reasonable compromises, I know that I will never compromise my soul in order just to people-please anymore.

Years ago I had spoken to a very wise woman and she gave me some very profound advice. She said, "Sometimes the best answer is NO." At the time it seemed a bit harsh to me, but now I get it. I am not doing any service to others if I enable their entitlement. And I certainly am not doing any favors to myself by disrespecting my own boundaries. Sometimes the correct answer, for the sake of all concerned, is plainly and simply, "no."

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