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How do you say NO and set boundaries?

Sometimes you gotta do the hard work in order to figure out what you really wanna do

Eric Jan Huizer
5 min readApr 9, 2020

Be honest, do or did you please other people to get their approval, or do you have trouble saying no to others? Are you tortured by the idea that someone might no like you? Then please read on, because I will help you set boundaries in six steps.

I recently found a video made by Vanessa Van Edwards, a behavioral investigator, in which she explains the damage that’s caused by trying to please other people. If people try to please others, they tend to overlook the fact that the best person to please is themselves. She also talks about the things you need to do to please yourself instead of other people. Let’s start with step 1.

1. Internal validation

Most people pleasers are addicted to saying YES to everyone because they need to feel that they are needed. By doing so, their self-confidence is totally based on external forces, the approval by others in this case. They solely rely on the approval of other people to feel good about themselves.

The best way to stop being a people pleaser is by doing things that make you feel good, I want you to rely on internal forces and not external forces such as saying YES to everyone. Build up the things you love to do and make you feel good. Remind yourself that you are good the way you are and that you don’t need others to validate yourself.

“People-pleasing is an addiction that pleases no one”

2. Start small

You can not expect to get good at saying NO the first time you try, so start by saying NO to smaller things first. Last month, my wife had a friend who wanted to get dinner together at her house, since both I and my wife were not really in the mood to spend the whole evening with them we suggested to go for a coffee together. Instead of saying NO, we decided to keep the get-together shorter to not hurt their feelings. We started with a small NO, which will help us say NO to bigger things without feeling guilty about it.

3. Giving yourself enough time



Eric Jan Huizer

Freelance translator, Passionate Writer, but most of all a Proud Husband. Writing about Marketing, Mindset, and Entrepreneurship.