The Art of Saying ‘No’ and Not Giving a F**k

For all the people pleasers in the world


I’m a yes girl. A people pleaser. If I have to say no then I am suddenly stuck dealing with guilt so in order to avoid those yukky feelings, I just say yes. For me, it’s just easier and makes more sense. Pretty silly way of thinking to be honest.

It’s just so fucking hard to say ‘no’. Or, I should say, it used to be. Not anymore.

But there are lots of people pleasers in the world, amirite? We want everyone to be happy. We want to help the world. Save them all. Admirable? Yes. Sensible? Absolutely not. It took me a long time to realize that I just can’t always say yes.

It took me even longer to not feel guilt over it. I struggled with this. Why can’t I help Sally? But George really needs my help. Oh shit, Emily is calling for a favour again. It was constant. I wanted to help them all.

You’re one of those people too aren’t you?

The light bulb moment

Then something in me changed. I don’t know how it happened. It just happened. One day I came to the realization that I am not God. Who knew? I had to learn to say ‘no’ and start actually doing it.

“Iva, you can’t always say yes. It’s OK to say no. Really, it is. Try it and see what happens”.

So I did. I tried it.

At first I had a sick feeling in my stomach. This little voice came up and kept saying “bad iva, you’re going to Hell..bad iva”. And then in an instant I felt something else. Relief. Pure relief.

And then I had to give my self the ‘talk’.

“Iva you’re so NOT going to Hell. You’re a good person”.

I had to tell myself that there is no guilt or shame in saying no. It was absolutely perfectly OK. And for the first time, I found peace in that. It really was OK.

Why we don’t say no

In one word. Guilt.

We care too much. We give too many fucks (well that came out wrong). We don’t want to upset the apple cart. We don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.

And on and on and on and on……….

How often have you had those thoughts and feelings? Are you like me? Just say yes and avoid the guilty feelings?

I soon discovered one very important thing.

All those guilty feelings are made up by me. Yup. I absolutely have no reason to feel guilty. I’ve done nothing wrong. The little devil inside my head made up those horrible guilt feelings.

So how did I tackle all those thoughts that Satan plugged in my brain?

Not only did I realize that I’m not God, I can’t save the world and I don’t have to say yes all the time I also realized this super cool thing…

Other people want to help too!!

In realizing that I’m not the only person on the planet who is placed here to save the world, I finally understood that others truly do want to help. I don’t have to do it all myself and I most certainly can say ‘no’ and pass the buck, if you will.

I still needed to know that in my heart of hearts it was OK for me to say no. I still had to convince myself that there was no wrong in it (we people pleasers are a complicated bunch)

And this is how that went down…

· When I say no, I give others a chance to say yes, purely a win win-let other people pitch in to help too. It doesn’t always have to be you.

· When I say no, I don’t put my things on the back burner and I get my own things done, another win win-how often do you put your own things aside for the sake of others? It’s ok to do that sometimes, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

· When I say no, I’m not going to make enemies, these people will still love me, they will understand-they may not like it at first, but eventually they’ll catch on and realize you can’t be there all the time. It’s unrealistic.

· When I say no, people will respect me and my time more and, when I can say yes to them, they will appreciate it more-give them a small taste of no a few times and let it go. If they get mad at you and stay mad at you because of that, then you need to rethink your relationship with these time vampires.

And the best part of all, the more often I learn to say no, dealing with guilt becomes less of an issue for me! It just gets easier and easier each time. Trust me on that one. After awhile you just say ‘no’ effortlessly without giving a fuck. Yay!!

See, justification isn’t a bad thing. It’s something that, sometimes, we need to do to realize that saying no isn’t terrible or the end of the world. When we say no, we give others a chance to say yes.

It’s also about self-care and self-love. We need to think of ourselves first and foremost and that’s OK too. It’s not being selfish, it’s being realistic. Love yourself first. Learn to say no. It’s OK.

Start saying no to others and yes to yourself. Remember, you are #1.

I love you ❤

Peace and Love

xo iva xo

Self help Guru|Expat|Website: mini self help eBook series here:

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