Why don’t you know how to say no?

In real life, your friends around you or you believe that you will be in such a dilemma: When facing some things that are contrary with your thoughts, when your friends ask you for your help, will you will hesitate to help?

If you help, it will contra with your thoughts, if you don’t help, you might lose your friend, and finally, because of your friend’s hard begging, you painfully agree to this request.

There is a term in psychology called “psychological limit” and it is a good illustration of this phenomenon;

So what is the psychological limit?

To give a simple example, if we see someone break into our house without permission, we will instinctively ask this person to leave and even call the police, but for our psychological area, when some people break into our borders, we might not necessarily to deal with it the same way;

Psychological limit simply means that we have a border of our own within ourselves. For people who have blurred borders, they often have no principles and don’t know how to reject others.

The clear determination of the border is related to early childhood family education. Most parents do not understand this concept, many are using the excuse of “out of love” and crosses the line, such as what we often heard: “I’m doing this is for your own good, you are still young, you will understand this after you grow up”. 

In such an environment, the children become less and less aware of how they can maintain their principles, let alone bravely refuse others.

People with gaps in the border, will pay too much attention to the behavior of others, evaluate, and thus define themselves; this is a common occurrence in a relationship, such as when a couple is quarreling, you will hear one side say: “I am so good to you, how can you do this to me”, this kind of focus is placed in places beyond their control. This result ingress attacking behavior is the result of the gap in the border.

So how do you reshape your psychological limit?


1. See-through the attack

After understanding the concept of psychological limit, use this knowledge to judge some of the psychological cross-border behavior that exists around you, that is, first of all, you must have a sense of awareness.

2. Distinguish harm

To distinguish the impact of cross-border behavior to yourself, such as when your boss asked you to help him buy lunch, this behavior you may feel that this task does not belong to your job scope, is a cross-border behavior, in the short term will make you feel “hurt”, but there is no “harm”;

Another example, your co-worker asks you to help him to do something using your position, this behavior may not be “harmful” in the short term, but in the long run, is a kind of “harm” cross-border behavior;

From an awkward refusal to proper formal refusal, is also a kind of practice.

When your boundaries are clear, and the boundaries around you are clear, and this is a self-interested move.

If in the process of defining your own boundaries, someone around you will leave you because of it, let them leave, because the people who will leave you do not understand the concept of the border, you should be glad for such a person to leave.

Rebuilding borders

After you learn to see-through the attack, learn to distinguish between harms, and next, you should learn to rebuild your own boundaries, the key part of which is “gently reject”. This “gentle rejection” requires you to start a skillful rejection from safe, trust, and then slowly re-establish your own boundaries.