Many abuse survivors have an incredibly hard time saying “No”. Why? Because either because of our family of origin or because of spending years with an abusive romantic partner or spending years in an abusive work environment we have learned that the word “no” equals either getting punished by the abuser or the most dramatic melt down by the abuser. Part of our task of healing is learning to get comfortable with the word “no” and meaning “no” when we say “no”. So how do we do this? A couple of ways. One is to do mirror work, looking in the mirror and saying “Hi! Good to see you! Have a great day! I give you permission to say no, have boundaries and mean it!” and then walk away and start your day. The other is to start working on a couple of workbooks. The Disease To Please by Harriet Braiker, which like the title infers, is working on those people pleasing bad habits that we learned to stay safe. The other book is The Inner Child Workbook by Catherine Taylor. The co dependency is a learned behavior. It did not just suddenly appear. It was either taught and enforced by the family of origin or it was learned through years of contact with an abuser. It is never too late to learn how to say no and mean it. In fact, the more you give yourself permission, the more you work on the ensuing guilt of saying no, the easier it will become to have good, strong, healthy boundaries. No is a boundary word. No is a word for your own safety. The word no is your power word. Abusers love to take that away from their targets in order to manipulate and control them better. Say no!