Standing up for yourself – especially to a guy you’re in a relationship with – can be uncomfortable. Painful, even! These tips for standing up for yourself will help you say no to your boyfriend and stay true to yourself. Your honesty may be difficult for you and your boyfriend at first, but you’ll both admire you for speaking up.
These tips are inspired by one of my readers, who said: “My boyfriend asked me to lend him money, but I said no,” says Maria on 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Relationship. “I was shocked when he asked because I already lent him a big amount of money a week ago, and now he’s asking me to lend him more. I know he used it to gamble. He’s angry at me, and thinks that I don’t believe him and I only like money. What do you think about this?”
I think it’s interesting that Maria left her comment on that particular blog post! I also think she already knows that if she can’t say no to her boyfriend without him getting mad, then their relationship isn’t based on love. It’s not strong, or healthy, or mutually supportive. It doesn’t matter what her boyfriend asks for or how she says no to him! If she can’t say no, she can’t be her true self in her relationship.
Second, I think her boyfriend is taking advantage of her and her finances. He’s treating her like an ATM (automated teller machine), and I have a feeling he won’t be able to find money to repay her.
Third, I think that ultimately Maria is responsible for how her boyfriend is taking advantage of her. He’s doing what people do: asking for what he wants. It’s good to ask for what you want! All the time, I encourage women to ask for what they want. I don’t fault her boyfriend for asking for what he wants, but I do think he’s unfair and selfish for being angry when she says no.
How to Say No to Your Boyfriend
I’m part of a group of women who meet once a week to discuss The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice. We talk about being more creative, more authentic, more real. We’re getting stronger and smarter every week because we’re tuning in to what we really think and feel.
Sometimes we talk about love and relationships. Jan, for instance, said she was married for 20 years – and she got down on her knees and thanked God the day her husband left. He squelched her creativity, passion, and authentic self. He didn’t want her to play the guitar, paint, or write. He was insecure and jealous, and he didn’t let her be who she was. He was threatened by Jan, and he pulled her down to his level. She never did learn how to say no to him, and she suffered.
It’s not too late for you to learn how to be true to yourself and say no when you don’t want to do what your boyfriend asks!
1. Figure out what you really think, feel, and wish
I often trip myself up in my marriage because I don’t want to offend, upset, or anger my husband. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a good man who loves me and would never hurt or take advantage of me. But, I’m scared that if I speak my mind and he gets hurt or angry at what I think, he’ll leave. That’s my issue, not his. We’ve been married for almost six years, and I’ve always struggled with expressing my thoughts and opinions.
It’s easier to say no to a man when you know what you really want. If you’re not clear on what you really think, feel and wish, how can you express yourself to him? You can’t. That’s why it’s important to know what your boyfriend is asking, why you need to say no, and how to communicate clearly.
2. Know that it takes courage to be honest with your boyfriend
“He’s angry at me, and thinks I don’t believe him and I only like money,” says Maria. Of course he’s angry – he’s a boyfriend whose girlfriend is saying no! So what? Let him be angry.
I admit that this is hard to do. Women generally don’t want to rock the boat, make waves, or make people mad – especially the men we love. When my husband (or anyone, really) responds to me with frustration, anger, or grumpiness, I immediately want to cave in and take it all back. But, I’m learning to let my husband be mad, let him be grouchy, let him get frustrated.
I’m learning how to be myself in my marriage…but it ain’t easy. It’s definitely easier to “start as you mean to go.” If you’re not authentic and real at the beginning of your relationship – which often means refusing your boyfriend things like money, sex, and material possessions – then you’ll never get there. Well maybe you will eventually, but the road is much steeper!
3. Remember that setting boundaries will make him respect you
What kind of man wants a woman he can push around, who never speaks her mind, and who gives gives gives without expecting anything in return? A Jerk Who You Should Dump Immediately — that’s what kind of man!
A loving man respects and admires a woman who can say no, who speaks her mind, and who knows how to give as well as get. She’s a 50/50 partner in the relationship, and she doesn’t put up with crap. Real women who are truly loved are strong, savvy, and sexy — precisely because they can say no to their partners.
For more tips to build your self-confidence, read Standing Up for Yourself.
What do you think – can you say no to your boyfriend? Can you be yourself in your marriage? Are you a strong savvy, sexy woman?