Just say NO~
I am a recovering "yes" addict. I use the '-ing' rather than the '-ed' to be sure everyone understands that I have not mastered this addiction. It's a tricky course to navigate and can become harrowing when I least expect. One minute I am just fine, plenty of space to manuveur through the day, tend to my responsibilities, a balance between work, play and self-care, and then "bam" I've said one too many "yes-es"!
You know when this happens; it's identical to one too many drinks! Uh-oh...you're stuck now too...can't easily go back and say "no" because usually that "yes" involves others who are counting on you, and going forward with the "yes" means compromising on other "yes-es" and your 'self' which is now beginning to physically register the well-known symptoms of stress. Mine usually starts with a little stirring in the belly, immediately effecting my tone of voice, then triggering the rather foul perfume of agitation which probably smells similar to the scent of a skunk.
My poor loved ones~
The fact that I am fully aware of this addiction and have some measure of control is a positive; if not a sobering fact when you consider the hours of therapy, self-help books, and vigilence on my part to spot my "co-dependent behavior". Co-dependency can be very tricky, similar to a chameleon changing it's colors to blend and lay low. You're a goner before you even know what has hit you...like that extra drink!
When I was in the thick of it, a friend once gave me a terrific piece of advice:
If it's not a 100% YES - it is a NO!
That worked miracles for me. I took a deep breath, asked myself "Do I really want to do this? Or, do what is being asked of me?" If there was any hesitation, rationalizing, any hint of a 'should'...I said NO!
I'm writing this as a reminder to myself, but I am pretty sure there are many of you out there suffering from the "yes" addiction. Try it.
Just say No~
PS. You can smile while you are saying no!