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When I Say No

With rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes we find that friends and family may have difficulty adjusting to our needs or new limitations. In some cases, this may affect the relationship dynamic between your friends or family members; for instance, they may give you a difficult time when you set boundaries. Here are some helpful skills to keep in mind when being assertive and setting boundaries with family members and loved ones.

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  • DarwinJones
    2 months ago

    Impatient? Skip to minute 2:00 to get the name of the book (“When I say ‘No’ I feel Guilty”) that he’s promoting. He reads a few quotes from it.

  • Cynthia Ventura moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi @michaelbooth28 Great video. That book is a golden oldie. You can learn a lot of skills for advocating for yourself from it. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling and was a Clinical Counselor in the field for quite some time so I hope you don’t mind my adding to the conversation.

    What I often advised my counselees was to practice their advocacy prior to being placed in that, “respond in the moment” situation yet again. So definitely read books or articles such as Dr. Smith’s to learn ways of asserting for your interests but that it is equally important that individuals test out their responses with a caring and supportive friend or family member. Go over possible scenarios with them until you feel comfortable with how much or how little you reveal. You are in charge. If you have no one to practice with than practice in front of a mirror and record yourself. Both will help you find what works best for you so that your responses will become second nature. It’s not always easy to self-advocate because of the emotional challenges RA places upon us but the best outcomes result from learning new strategies and rehearsing them before putting them into practice.

    Always remember that your RA/chronic illness does not negate your humanity nor your right to being treated respectfully and with dignity. You will find that advocating for yourself in social and familial situations will also lead to better communications in healthcare settings as well. Unfortunately, some people will never even try to understand so don’t get discouraged. It is their attitude not your assertiveness that failed. There will be some that will try thanks to your speaking up. Plus each time we stand up for ourselves it is empowering and makes it that much easier to do so the next time. Best wishes,

    CynthiaV, Site Moderator Team

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