Is Guilt Burning You Out?

Nancy Stampahar
November 28, 2009 — 2,351 views  
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How often do you catch yourself saying to someone, "Don't worry, I'll take care of it." or "Yes." when your plate is already too full and you really do not want to do what is being asked? If you continuously say "yes" when you want and need to say "no", chances are you have excessive people pleasing tendencies without regard or respect for yourself.  You feel guilty for setting boundaries and want to seek the approval of others; but unfortunately, you tend to feel taken advantage of or taken for granted. You can live with excessive fear, worry and negative thinking. You go from one self-induced stressful situation to another. If you do not address your needs and do not tactfully assert yourself, your frustrations and hurt will build resentment within you, which will lead to increased stress and burnout.  You do not have to live or work this way.

You must choose what is best for you without being self-centered, insubordinate or disrespectful of others.  Saying "no" or "not now" is not selfish.  It is necessary and a permitted right you have, which is utilized by your power of choice. Once you decide to find the courage to speak up, you have to use assertive communication skills to respect your needs and the feelings of others.

Aggressive Communication Sounds Like This:

"This is what you're going to do and you have no say in the matter."

Passive Communication Sounds Like This:

"Whatever you say, I'll do it whether I want to or not."

Assertive Communication Sounds Like This:

"I know that this is important to you. It is also important to me. Let's figure out some options that are fair to both of us."

Assertive communication is the most healthy, respectful way to understand each other and find solutions that are flexible and desirable for all involved. It is okay to say, "I cannot do that." or "I don't know." It is okay to ask questions, challenge others' opinions or seek alternatives. When you stop feeling guilty and seeking approval of others, your days will be fueled by positive energy, confidence and self-respect.  You will feel empowered and in control of your life because you utilized your power of choice. You will be happy. Assert yourself today!

Nancy Stampahar


Nancy Stampahar inspires people into action with her enthusiasm and lemons to lemonade wisdom and expertise. She is the author of the 2009 IPPY Award winning self-help, inspirational book, peace, love and lemonade: a recipe to make your life sweeter and a sought-after organizational development consultant, trainer and speaker. Nancy solely owns and directs her business Silver Lining Solutions. She earned her BSBA in human resource management from Robert Morris University, after she decided to make lemonade. She received the 2009 Joe Ott Award from ACHIEVA, which serves people with disabilities in recognition of outstanding vision, volunteer leadership and generosity of spirit.