Does Anyone else have trouble saying NO to people?

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Roo95
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17 Aug 2021, 4:38 pm

Does anyone else have this issue?
I can't say no when asked to do something that I don't want to do, such as a favour and It leads to me being constantly used over and over again, mostly by the same people, including my own parents. I'm constantly asked to do things for people that sometimes I shouldn't have to do but I always say yes, and get extremely angry and stressed after because I really wanted to say no but couldn't. I have gone out of my way to do many 'favours' for people that I never wanted to do by people who have done nothing but use me for years. I had even gotten myself into trouble with the police and almost arrested with a caution after being dragged into something I could have said no to.

No one I know has this issue, none of them would ever do something they wouldn't want to do and have no issues saying no to others. All of them think it's odd. It's frustrated me since I was a young kid , caused nothing but stress and meltdowns, had a very negative impact on my mental health. I don't understand why I can't just say it. It may not even be ASD related. Could it be a confidence issue, anxiety, childhood trauma related? I've got no idea



Fnord
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17 Aug 2021, 4:38 pm

Roo95 wrote:
Does Anyone else have trouble saying NO to people?
No.



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17 Aug 2021, 5:18 pm

A lot of people in my family, who are NTs, often have trouble saying no, as a lot of them are people-pleasers and feel guilty a lot of the time. I've gotten better at saying no, but I still get overrun by guilt.


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chaosmos
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17 Aug 2021, 5:23 pm

Roo95 wrote:
Does anyone else have this issue?
I can't say no when asked to do something that I don't want to do, such as a favour and It leads to me being constantly used over and over again, mostly by the same people, including my own parents. I'm constantly asked to do things for people that sometimes I shouldn't have to do but I always say yes, and get extremely angry and stressed after because I really wanted to say no but couldn't. I have gone out of my way to do many 'favours' for people that I never wanted to do by people who have done nothing but use me for years. I had even gotten myself into trouble with the police and almost arrested with a caution after being dragged into something I could have said no to.

No one I know has this issue, none of them would ever do something they wouldn't want to do and have no issues saying no to others. All of them think it's odd. It's frustrated me since I was a young kid , caused nothing but stress and meltdowns, had a very negative impact on my mental health. I don't understand why I can't just say it. It may not even be ASD related. Could it be a confidence issue, anxiety, childhood trauma related? I've got no idea


I think I have occasionally had difficulty until I knew what my boundaries were. Having good boundaries and self awareness will help you have a better understanding of what it is that you do and don’t want to do.
This could ultimately be there difference between overloading yourself and ensuring you meet your own needs.

Knowing your own boundaries can be difficult if you’re a confluent type of person. I’m not sure what steps you can take to get there but therapy can help. Meditation can foster self awareness.

Good luck.



StrayCat81
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17 Aug 2021, 5:25 pm

Are you afraid of saying no? If yes, what exactly is that you are afraid of? There might be many reasons...



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17 Aug 2021, 7:17 pm

I am not as bad as I used to be.
For me has been a lack of confidence in myself issue.


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17 Aug 2021, 8:59 pm

Fnord wrote:
Roo95 wrote:
Does Anyone else have trouble saying NO to people?
No.


I see what you did there :)

To answer the OP, I did in the past but I've gotten good at it. Perhaps too good.

For me, I think my difficulties stemmed from not really understanding the difference between reasonable and unreasonable requests. I was so accustomed to blaming myself for negative interactions that I didn't really consider the possibility that the other person might be at fault. And for what it's worth, it's probably more difficult to re-establish boundaries with parents than it is with anyone else, especially when you're young. While learning to say "no", it's probably easier to do so with classmates, coworkers, etc.



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17 Aug 2021, 9:03 pm

Me and whenever this happens, my mom tells me off. :evil:


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11 Nov 2021, 8:31 am

Ironically, I'm more likely to have trouble saying yes. Eg when I'm really hurting and lashing out, and my mom asks "do you want a hug?", I can either say no or say nothing, but I can't say yes. I've explained this to her when I'm not in crisis, so now she knows that if I don't respond, she should hug me.



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11 Nov 2021, 8:43 am

i’ve gotten better at it, It used to make me feel guilty. I don’t have a problem with this.


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11 Nov 2021, 2:08 pm

I try to go by gut instinct. Nay or Yay. It's a boundaries /principles thing. You must not have firm values of what you like and dislike. What is acceptable and unacceptable.


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11 Nov 2021, 3:54 pm

Roo95 wrote:
Does anyone else have this issue?
I can't say no when asked to do something that I don't want to do, such as a favour and It leads to me being constantly used over and over again, mostly by the same people, including my own parents. I'm constantly asked to do things for people that sometimes I shouldn't have to do but I always say yes, and get extremely angry and stressed after because I really wanted to say no but couldn't. I have gone out of my way to do many 'favours' for people that I never wanted to do by people who have done nothing but use me for years. I had even gotten myself into trouble with the police and almost arrested with a caution after being dragged into something I could have said no to.

No one I know has this issue, none of them would ever do something they wouldn't want to do and have no issues saying no to others. All of them think it's odd. It's frustrated me since I was a young kid , caused nothing but stress and meltdowns, had a very negative impact on my mental health. I don't understand why I can't just say it. It may not even be ASD related. Could it be a confidence issue, anxiety, childhood trauma related? I've got no idea

Were you subjected to ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) as a child? Autistic critics of ABA often say that one of the harms of ABA is that it teaches kids to feel that they have no right to any personal autonomy.

Offhand, I would suggest that you make lists of what kinds of favors you do and do not mind doing for people, and what kinds of requests are and are not reasonable.

Perhaps you could then have a discussion with your parents about what your responsibilities to them are and aren't, and try to reach a general agreement with them on this issue? Perhaps you could also have similar discussions with other family members and your friends, and try to reach similar general agreements?

Then, the next time someone asks you a favor that you don't want to do, you could refer back to the agreement you made with that person.


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14 Nov 2021, 11:52 am

I used to when I was younger. I blame school. We're told to do this and that, but never to think for ourselves. We do all the tasks and we get praise and good grades. It's drummed into us.

That doesn't work in the real world.

I had therapy when I was 26 and the best thing I learned was to say no. Listen to your body telling you if you are stressed and overworked. Learn where your limits are and say, "no, I can't do that. I don't have the time. I'm not feeling well enough."