Learning to say NO

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Do you struggle to say no to someone, where you say yes without even thinking? Do you feel that you don’t have the courage to say no?  Why is it so hard to say no to someone even though you are sacrificing something in the process that really matters to you?

Yes and no are the on different sides of the same coin. When you say yes to one thing you are saying no so something else. For instance, if you say yes to the boss to stay late, you are saying no to the time you should be spending with your family.

There are many reasons why it is difficult to say no such as fear of being thought poorly of by others, fear of conflict, have a history of putting other people first, having said yes every time previously, having been told by our parents that it is disrespectful to say no, and having our self-worth tied up in how other people value us.

Also, we can project onto others what we may feel ourselves if someone says no to us, we can take it personally. Instead of seeing it as a no to the particular request, we can see it as say no to us – they don’t like me.

Saying no can have a huge impact on our lives as we don’t prioritise what is important to us, we don’t attend to our needs as our time can get taken up with the need of others. Also, this can build up resentment in us and we become fake by pretending we care enough to help the other person when this is clearly not the case.

Having to say no is necessary when it comes to how we use our time and energy but also it when others want to cross our personal boundaries. Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and a healthy life. 

Your word is your bond and when you say yes you should not let the other person shown, you should deliver what you promise. It is easy to lose credibility with people but it is difficult to build it up again. People may not like no but they respect it, know when to say yes and when to say no.

The way you say no can affect the way it is perceived, you can say no without using the word no. You can say “thanks for the offer/request but” then give the reason why you can’t do it. It is helpful that you don’t cause the other person to lose face.

Don’t apologise for saying no, try to justify it by being untruthful. The sooner you get to saying no to the situation, the less stress involved in the process of making your statement.

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