Saying No When You’re a People Pleaser

Happy New Year! At the end of 2019 I found myself in perpetual angst. Saying “yes” to everything I’m invited to and the demands of managing a home and family were wearing on me. I didn’t want this to seep into my 2020 mood. So, I began envisioning what my life might look like as I try to chip away at that deep inner unrest.

As I pondered what New Years Resolutions I would like to adopt, I casually asked some friends what theirs were. One friend said “Say no to the stuff I don’t want to do!” I mean, hello!!! YES TO YOU. You beautiful and wise goddess. Another said that they don’t make New Years Resolutions but they live by the motto of “Just be better than I was yesterday.” I thought to myself… profound.

While working at my first job out of college my boss was a big goal setter. In career and personal life. They would ask me on occasion what goals I had. I’d shrug in my daydreamy-young-twenty-something way and say “nah. I’m, doing fine.” HAHA. What a simple gal I was. I miss her. She was happy and so carefree. Content.

Since then, I’ve left that career path but I brought the wisdom from my motivated boss. Goal setting is an amazing thing to do! (I almost cringe as I type that because I never really thought it was for me). Now I know, it’s non negotiable on my path to a fulfilled life. Yet, it doesn’t come without a cost.

Now, back to my perpetual angst. I’ve found part of the remedy. (For me personally anyway)… is exercise! I’m not making this into a big promotion for working out (I might another day though 😉), so insert your own goal here. Think about your own resolutions and what roadblocks might be in your way of achieving them. I heard a trainer get asked “how do you have time to workout everyday?” Her response was ” I don’t have time, I make time.” So, how am I going to make time to achieve my goals? (Or how are you?!) I’m going to have to say “no” to things! Some things I don’t want to do anyway. Some things I DO want to do. Yet, I know to better myself I’m going to have to say “no” to some play dates, coffee dates or happy hours. It is hard because when you say “yes” to one thing you inevitably say “no” to 100 other amazing things. *sigh*

“Life is a progression” my late father used to say when I was buzzing about not being able to complete everything I needed to do in 1 day. I keep it in mind constantly now. Especially on those days when I have 4 loads of laundry to do but I choose to workout instead. Or even right now as I type this I surely have SO MANY other things to be doing. I’m scared to even go see the damage that has probably occurred in my living room right now. (Think toddler tornado).

Do you want to say “no” to things you don’t want to do? Or do you *need* to say “no” in order to achieve your goals? It’s so hard when you don’t want to disappoint people. I never would have described myself as a people pleaser but, I most definitely fall on that spectrum when I start to get anxiety over saying “no”. I want to remind you that in saying you cannot do something you don’t have to say why you can’t or what you’re doing instead. Try a simple, “I won’t be able to attend.” or “Raincheck!” When in doubt, my favorite of all time: NO ANSWER IS AN ANSWER. Trust me, the second you say “no” to that invitation you didn’t want to do anyway you will breathe a sigh of relief! AMEN. 🙌🏼

Always remember, you’re not missing anything when you’re getting your life together!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020.

XOX, Hilary Poulsen


I thought about making a separate blog post simply on saying “no” to things you don’t want to do but, I learned that I’m going to have to say “no” to stuff I want to do too. To improve my life and health so I just meshed them here. I hope y’all followed my brain okay! 🤪🙏🏼