Boundaries, Personality, and Saying No
Do you have a difficult time saying no?
While others in your life say no without a second thought.
Is this confusing and at times upsetting for you?
Are you hard on yourself because of this discrepancy between yourself and others?
You may be interested to discover that Saying No is not a one size fits all.
Join me in my psychology classroom as I share one factor that explains why some people have more difficulty saying no and holding boundaries than others — Personality!
Feelers vs. Thinkers
In this video I describe how individuals who are overly sensitive to the feelings of others (HSPs, Empaths, ENFJs) often focus on the needs of others to the exclusion of themselves.
Video: SAYING NO Are you a feeler or a thinker?
❤️ Feelers take things more personally than thinkers.
Often causing feelers to say YES on the outside when on the inside their intuition is telling them to SAY NO.
Result = Mixed Messages + Unnecessary Stress
By contrast, individuals who are left brain dominant (thinkers on the Myers Briggs scale) are more straightforward and logical in their response to requests from friends and coworkers.
Consequently, thinkers do not focus to the same extent on the emotions of “the requesters” in the same way that feelers (eg., ENFJ’s) on the on the Myers Briggs do.
💡 Saying no comes naturally to thinkers.
Thinkers know what they want and use analytics + logic not the emotions of the person in front of them as their guiding force.
Learning from each other
On the plus side:
Feelers and thinkers make incredible teammates.
At work and in life.
Balance is everything. 🧠 + ❤️
Related Posts and Psychology Resources
1. Right Brain versus Left Brain: https://drandreadinardo.com/2017/09/18/are-you-left-brain-or-right-brain-dominant/
2. Are you a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? https://drandreadinardo.com/2017/05/17/are-you-a-highly-sensitive-person/
3. Myers Briggs Personality Profile https://www.verywellmind.com/the-myers-briggs-type-indicator-2795583
4. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://m.youtube.com/c/DrAndreaDinardo
Let me know in comments below how your personality impacts different areas of your life, including saying No. Please share techniques you’ve developed for setting boundaries too! I’d love to know! Dr. D 📚
One Final Note
In Addition to Personality and Individual Differences Situation Also Impacts Our Ability to Say NO and Stand Firm on Tough Decisions.
I’ve never thought about the difference between people who say no easily, and those like me who struggle with it. Now it makes so much sense! Illness has taught me a lot about saying no, but it is still a problem. One thing I learned recently is that by not saying no when I need to, I send out mixed messages to others – lose-lose all around.
Great examples VJ! Thank you. Love knowing the distinction between feelers and thinkers sheds light for you. As this post comes from a place of both teaching & learning (mostly learning on my part :))
I especially appreciate your life lesson of not sending out mixed messages. It can be so confusing to ourselves and others. Something I can relate to 100%.
Instituting the “24 hour rule” for decision making has helped me quite a bit. It “slows my roll” and helps me determine the people who truly care about my health & welfare versus the bulldozers 😉
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!
May you be surrounded by all the love you share.
Thank you, Andrea! You too!
Good morning, Dr. D.! This post spoke to me in so many ways. I clicked the Myers-Briggs link and discovered ISFP. I’m sure I knew this at one point in my life. Maybe at the time it wasn’t important, and deep down I’m sure I knew, but today it’s like a total and necessary epiphany. Thank you for doing what you do! Have a wonderful weekend!
Crystal! If only you could see my smile!
Knowing you took the time to read, watch, and do the personality inventory warms my heart.
Though I’m not surprised as the ISFP is the profile of “The Adventurer”.. so you were game the moment I posted the links!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend too!
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada so we will be enjoyed it extra for 3 days long.
I’m on a four-day break myself, so perfect timing. I’m in the process of working on boundary issues and saying no, so I can’t express enough gratitude.
Love knowing it arrived at the perfect time!
I also wanted to add this video where my husband expresses how I never have trouble saying no to him.
We tend to say no in the situations where we feel “safe knowing that the other person will love us no matter what….”
So… the next time you say “yes” when you really want to say no (I get this from the inside out) consider this:
If only you had been around during my student days to tell my university lecturers, for I don’t fit the mold of conformity.
My favourite kind of student!
Today you have my total attention, for I have a bad back and time is on our hands. I might read loads of your stuff or go to sleep. I hope it isn’t both for that would be rude and I’ve only ever done that in archaeology lectures, even when I attempted not to by sitting at the front and woke to find everyone had left!
Oh and as for the test, how on Earth can I do it? For I get to question one: You enjoy vibrant social events with lots of people. Agree [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] Disagree and already I’m thinking anyone of them boxes! I will middle the road tick, but it’s not going to be easy and I’m an out layer (is that the expression).
You defy the test. As many of my psychology students do. 😀 I always tell them to pick the best of the options. Though few of us, if any (as you write above) can be contained within the ticks and bops of a personality questionnaire. Have fun!
ssshhhh, but I come out as: Adventurer ISFP-A
Fantastic! So did another one of the blog commenters today. How cool is that. Have a wonderful weekend! Gotta run.. My 11:00 in person psychology lecture is about to begin.
Hold your horses, I did it again and got Protagonist ENFJ-A with a soupçon of LOL to boot. You cannot rely on me, for I am everyone inside of me.
As usual thought provoking.
In sales we had personality types and how to address them.
We were also taught to mirror your clients speech patterns.
Sort of hook up with their pace and intonations.
How would you place me?
My therapist told me my father suppressed my true nature an extrovert.
I lived nearly 60 years of my life as an introvert.
Probably you would say I have codependent tendencies, I am a thinker but meditation has opened my compassion center.
Instead of competing I have turned to help others. Following my feelings.
Now I sense others suffering intensely.
From Agoraphobic to running a mindfulness group.
I guess I have been introvert and extrovert, all thinking and all thinking
Thank you Marty!
Your insights and reflections always take my post to a higher place.
Your personal examples clearly show how evolving our personalities can be.
And how much they shape our personal destinies.
Well, from my experiences with ex-girlfriends, one size fits all is really one size fits none.
Jokes aside, saying “no” is very important in life. It serves so many purposes.
Helps teach respect of time and boundaries.
Too many kind, helpful people find it difficult to say no, and they find themselves in the disheartening situation of having friends/relatives/bosses taking advantage of them.
Very important subject. Thanks. Have a great weekend.
I agree with you wholeheartedly about the correlation between boundaries and being taken advantage of.
Something we learn as both a participant and observer in life.
Taking a moment to reflect and understand who we are in the “power struggles” of life makes a big difference.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your perspective. You always shed light on my posts. 🙏☀️
I’ve found saying no has got easier the older I get. It is still hard for me to do, but I no longer what to do things that aren’t a solid ‘yes’ for me. The fact that the sand in the hour glass is running out is quite compelling!
So true! Me too. The wisdom of aging is a beautiful & empowering thing. ⏰
It’s is really hard for me to say no to my family and friends.
That’s because you’re all heart Demby! ❤️❤️
Oh that is me once again…
Name it….. to…. Tame it ….
Awareness is the first step
I’ve found that it’s gotten easier to say, “No,” as I’ve gotten older. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was that you don’t even have to give an explanation to go along with “No.”
So true! Me too. ☺️
The wisdom of aging is a beautiful & empowering thing. ⏰
And I love the “no explanation” advice. ✅
Once we say no — they stop listening anyway 🙉
So much helpful and encouraging/validating information in this post.
Thank you, Andrea!! 😊
Have a great week!
My pleasure ☀️💛
Thank you for such an interesting & thoughtful post. I see you are wearing your nice olive green colour in the video.
I find the Myers Briggs inventory fascinating.
My brother and I have done the test and we are both enfp campaigners. I have the turbulent trait which my brother doesn’t have. I will check with him.
Thank you for the links.
I am getting better with boundaries. Before I retired aged 55 years I had never heard of them so perhaps that says a lot.
As an emotional career in nursing I suppose plus caring for mum from age 12 & same with dad from age 13 years (although both strong people) & working in health care all my career boundaries could pose a problem.
Your attention to detail is brilliant Margaret!
One of my favourite green college shirts 📚💚
Enjoy the links to the additional psychology resources in the post! Your reflections have laid the foundation for some beautiful learning moments.
I appreciate all of your examples so much.
Have a wonderful week!
Thank you Andrea. Have a wonderful week also.
I remember us discussing your green top previously and I think it was in relation to Irish eyes etc. ☀️
Now I remember ..💡
My Shirt in the video ✅
Emerald Isles & Smiling Irish Eyes ☘️ 💚 ☘️
The Colours of Your Beautiful Irish Country! 🇮🇪
Yes Andrea, my optician once told me irish eyes as in the song ‘when irish eyes are smiling’ do exist & I had them. Hazel ish with a brown circle round my pupil.
Mum’s mum died when mum was 8yrs & had no photos or coluldnt remember her mum’s face. Not long before mum died & I was putting her to bed she said ‘you have eyes like mammy’, must have been a flashback. ☘️💚🇮🇪
Oh my goodness Margaret.
You just gave me goosebumps.
Eyes like your Mother 🙏
A wonderful reminder of universal love.
We are connected 🌎💚☘️💙
Mum’s eyes blue & my eyes like mum’s mum’s. Gave me goosebumps at the time 🇮🇪☘️😉
Dr. D, this makes soooo much sense to me. I’m an ENFJ, who was also taught that it’s not okay to say no to specific people. Anywho, in recent years, I’ve flipped that around, and needless to say, some are not happy about it lol In fact, I kind of had it out with a family member who was bothered by my telling my grandmother it wasn’t a good time to visit. This information has provided me with insight as to what the issue probably was…personality coupled with upbringing.
I love it when you share your personal experiences Dr. G. Especially since we’re both ENFJs!
Twins once again ‼️❤️
I can relate on so many levels.
Especially with the bullies in my own family. They somehow classically condition us to acquiesce. For most of our lives. Most likely to avoid the conflict. We are the peacemakers after all.
Until we wake up and realize our freedom trumps conflict.. And that’s when the bullies come in for round two… but to no effect as we’re no longer susceptible to their narcissistic ways.
Hallelujah Dr. G.