Why you should say no more often

Why you should say no more often

Is it hard to say no to people? I think so. “No” is a tiny but powerful world able to provoke strong emotions and unprecedented behaviours. Is it necessary to say no to others? I am confident it is. A life full of yes cannot be but an unfulfilling and remorseful one.

Having said that, I am one of these people who have difficulty speaking this word but without necessarily being a people-pleaser. Yes to cover a colleague’s shift multiple times, yes to take work at home, yes to do over-hours numerous times, yes to attend this or that work-do, yes to accommodate friends or family, yes to help in the cooking, yes to… when what I frankly want to scream is a big, loud no. No, I cannot do this or that because I am saying yes to something else. Something which I have assessed is worth my time, energy, and resources over the proposition I decline.

We avoid saying no for the sake of empathy. We don’t want to disappoint the others and cause conflict, as we know how this feels. Additionally, saying no causes stress, which can be easily avoided by saying yes. And what about this ever so distorted notion that saying yes to everything, especially in relationships and work, it’s a sign of proving yourself to others? Furthermore, refraining from saying no is a sign of poor time management. How can one manage their time efficiently when they say yes to everything?

To say no is a skill; as it goes with all

skills, it can be learned and practised.

The benefits of uttering this teeny-tiny word are humongous, but sadly, most of us neglect to comprehend and appreciate its advantages. When we say no to a task or offer, we essentially say no to burnout, inner conflicts, stress, and blurry boundaries; at the same time, we admit to quality over quantity, more time for people, projects and activities that satisfy and fulfil us.

There is a motto that no is a full sentence. I disagree. Sure enough, you want to decline a request without coming across as a hostile and rude badass. Transparency is what will help you out of an awkward position. You say no to x because you are saying yes to y. People might not like it, but they will appreciate your honesty and clarity. Plus, you can always offer an alternative, should you think there is one. People will welcome your flexibility. 

Saying no should not be the source of guilts and self-beating. Let us not forget how valuable our time is and what we sacrifice when we agree on everything and suppress our needs, desires and wants. This should not be interpreted as not taking the extra step to help a friend, family member or colleague. On the contrary, saying no means healthy boundaries and self-care.

5 thoughts on “Why you should say no more often”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *