Don’t be a Minion
Have you ever watched the Minions movie? Do you know what a Minion is? The internet describes the story of the Minions this way:
“Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of unsuccessful and unkind masters. Without a master to grovel for, the Minions fall into a deep depression. Minions are known for their naiveity and their child-like behavior. They are extremely loyal, loving, and hard-working. They have blind adoration for their masters who don’t treat them with respect and who don’t encourage them to think for themselves.
These masters exploit and manipulate the Minions to do their villainous work without the Minions knowing how destructive this is to themselves, others, and the world.
Although Minions aren’t real, sometimes people behave like Minions in relationships and
friendships….they allow themselves to be taken advantage of because they are loyal, loving, and have blind adoration without requiring that others treat them with respect and kindness. God wants us to be wise and self-protective and not be like the Minions. Part of that wisdom and protection comes from being aware of who and what we need to say “No” to and who and what we need to say “Yes” to. Saying “No” can be very difficult for people who have sensitive hearts. Your sensitive heart toward others is a valuable gift from God, however it does make it more difficult to say “No” often times and “Yes” (letting people get close to you) as well. We may be afraid that people won’t like us or afraid that we will hurt someone’s feelings if we say “NO” to them. We may be afraid that people will get close to
us and discover the “real” us and will then reject us, so we keep safe people at a distance and hold back/not share our true thoughts and feelings with them (say “Yes” to safe people). The problem is, if we don’t learn to say “NO” to unsafe people and circumstances and we don’t learn to let safe people know who we really are, we could stop liking ourselves and the people we are trying to please too because we will start to resent them and start to see them as “selfish” and not genuinely interested in us.
So, when do we need to say “No?” When “No” is what we really mean, that’s when. When we learn to say “No,” we are learning to be more honest and trustworthy. People can trust us more because they know we are being sincere, and we can trust ourselves to handle more situations because of our ability to say “No.” This ability to say “No” can lead to a decrease in anxiety, sadness, and/or anger. We can enjoy circumstances and people more because we feel free and empowered by our ability to set
How do I say “No?”
Here are a few ideas that may help…
If you are afraid to say “No” to someone but know that you need to, you can take a break, go
pray for strength to say what needs to be said, practice saying “No” to that person, and then go talk with them when you are feeling stronger.
Don’t offer overly long explanations for your decision-it could make you vulnerable to not being completely honest or to not following through with saying “No” (because you start to feel afraid, sad that you may be hurting their feelings, or guilty).
Remember, there is a difference between being selfish and self-protective. God wants us to protect ourselves from situations wherein we can get hurt physically, emotionally, or spiritually. When we say “No” to unsafe situations, we actually say “Yes” to safe situations and can more effectively live out the plan that God has for our lives.
So, when do we need to say “Yes?” When “Yes” is what we really mean, that’s when. Learning to overcome the fear/anxiety of talking about our thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires will help us experience ourselves in a positive way and understand that we are acceptable and likeable. Without doing this, we are vulnerable to believing lies about ourselves and developing low self-worth or self-hatred as well as feel increased anxiety, sadness, and/or anger or frustration.
How do I say “Yes?”
Here are a few ideas that may help…
Begin by thinking about what you really think, feel, need, and desire in different circumstances throughout the day. This helps you to learn to connect to yourself and develop self-awareness (you cannot express what you do not know). We all need the four A’s every day (attention, affection, affirmation, and acceptance)…understanding this and learning how to ask for it from healthy people will lead to a more fulfilled life.
If you are afraid to say “Yes” and open up to others, possibly write a potential script to say.
Once we surround ourselves with what we are afraid or anxious about, the power of the
fear/anxiety starts to go away. Think about what a conversation might be like if you were to
share yourself with others. Set a goal, take a risk and “Just Do It” as Nike says. You will never know how favorably people can respond to the real you unless you try. If it doesn’t go so well, understand that to get good at anything, we must practice, practice, practice. When we commit to doing it over and over again, we will get better at it, and it will get easier for us.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.