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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Barrett

Suppressing our ‘No’ to survive


As human infants it is essential to our survival to attach to our caregivers. We die if we aren’t fed and protected from the elements. In most cases we’ve been disciplined and trained out of our natural expressions (our authenticity) in favour of not causing trouble or rocking any boats, it is again essential to our survival as infants to be ‘liked’ and accepted by the group we are born in to. We are biologically wired to ‘attach’.

This ‘fitting in’ generally continues on as we grow, so belonging to the group, our peers, society, takes precedence over presenting our most natural, authentic selves. It is ingrained in our psyche that it is more important to ‘belong’ than to be ourselves. “What would happen if I’m rejected?“ “They might not call me anymore if I say ‘no’”. “They’ll get upset with me and I’ll have nobody.” “If I say how I really feel things will just get weird.” At the subconscious level we fear that we won’t survive, but obviously this is not true.

Of course we need connection with family and friends but at what cost to our wellbeing.

How many times do we say ‘yes’ to others but ‘no’ to our own needs, so as not to upset or offend? “How many times do we let ourselves be the brunt of jokes because we want to appear as ‘easy going’, when inside we are upset?”

Repeatedly suppressing our “No” to be liked and accepted has significant negative effects on our nervous system and the overall functioning of our mind/body system. Our system no longer trusts us to protect it.

There are copious scientific studies available outlining the direct correlation between the stress of suppressing our authentic expression and the suppression of our immune system causing autoimmune dysfunction.

It is widely known that many diseases can be linked back to our mental, emotion and physical states. Many believe that depression is caused by sustained suppression of our authentic emotions, specifically anger. Anger is a healthy emotion; it informs us that our boundaries are being violated. It becomes unhealthy when its expression has been stifled.

Saying ‘YES’ to yourself sometimes means a ‘No’ to someone you love, but without true authenticity and love for yourself first, you cannot truly love another.


Love is authentic communication.

By being truly authentic you subconsciously give others permission to be the truest version of themselves too.


Be brave...Be YOU!






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