It’s ok to say no but for some reason, we have a real hard time with this small word.
It’s so bizarre. We feel obliged to say YES to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE! Even to the detriment of our own well-being.
We don’t like to let people down.
No one wants to be the bad person.
So you go along with the “thing” you didn’t want to do just to please someone else.
It’s utterly ridiculous right?
Today I’m breaking down why you need to start saying no to anything that doesn’t serve your best interest and how to say no politely to these requests.
Why it’s ok to say no to others and say Yes to yourself
People Pleasing = Expectation
Let’s say you’re a people pleaser. You never say no to any of your friends, family or work colleagues.
That’s a hella lot of yes’ right there.
Add all of those into your days/weeks/months and years. You’re going to be spending a lot of your time on things you don’t want to do.
Of course, with this comes expectation as you are known as a Yes person, people come to depend on you more and more.
It’ll be harder for you to say no as expectation increases. By saying no more often, you won’t have any expectations placed upon you which means that decision making becomes easier.
Loss of your time
A sad fact but very true.
When you’re doing the things you don’t want to do, you lose time and the opportunity to do what you actually want.
Naturally, you miss out on what is important to you and this in itself is a HUGE no.
We don’t have a lot of time on this wonderful planet and it can be taken away in a split second. It’s important for you to spend your precious time doing what YOU want and be at peace with putting yourself first.
Putting the needs of others before your own
Have you ever thought what signals you send to your brain when you don’t say no?
You’re actually stating that your wants don’t matter as much as others. Your brain starts to think “Their needs are more important therefore, I am below them”.
You start to believe this mindset for yourself. Saying Yes is just who you are and always will be. Hence why it’s definitely ok to say no.
You end up resenting others or the situation
You’ve said yes, then after thinking about it, you really don’t want to do it. Sound familiar?
All these feelings of guilt, resentment and frustration surface and are usually directed at yourself. You beat yourself up about it.
Instead of following your head and changing your mind, you go along with it anyway. After it’s over, you curse and moan as you didn’t want to do it in the first place.
You’ve annoyed yourself TWICE.
As well as this, you now start to resent the person who asked you. It’s not their fault, they just asked the question.
It has significant effects by causing stress and anxiety which can manifest into serious problems, if you’re not careful.
Benefits of saying No
By saying NO more often you will find that you:
- Spend more time doing what YOU want with the people you love
- Be more positive and happy
- Will not hold resentment for those situations you cannot say no too as you aren’t doing it all the time
- Reduce stress and anxiety in your life
- You make an internal and external note that your life comes first and you can make better judgements on what best serves your well-being
When should you to say No?
When I am asked anything and I’m not 100% sure right away, I have a 3 question process that helps me reach an answer.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I truly want to do this?
- Will this make me feel good?
- What are the repercussions if I say No?
If you say No to any of these questions, voila, just say No straight away. It’s as simple as that.
Now it can be difficult when it comes to family. There have been many instances I have not wanted to do something but have because it was a family member.
You have accept there will be times you’ll say yes because it’s someone you care about and that’s ok. Just make sure it’s not all the time and that they are taken advantage of you.
Another way of taking some control is to say I will but I can’t on that day, suggest a day and time frame that works for you.
How to say No politely
I am the master of saying No. If I am not feeling it, I won’t! Simple as that.
It’s ok to change your mind and say no!
- Thanks for the offer but I am busy that day
- No, thank you
- Unfortunately, I cannot make it
- I am saving money this month so won’t be able to make it
- I have already planned my whole weekend
- Thank you for asking, however, I’m going to pass on this occasion
- That’s very kind of you, but I can’t this weekend
- I understand you need help but can we make it next Wednesday at 6pm as I am busy tomorrow evening
- I have too much on my to-do list right now so cannot take that on
There are a few examples so hopefully you get the gist. You don’t need to be rude or even give an explanation if you don’t want to.
It’s how you say it that’s important. Depending on who you are talking to you may have to be a bit more forceful than others.
The more you start to say No, the easier it will get.
I hope you have found this article useful.
Just remember, Self Care is not selfish. Don’t feel for one second that you saying No is selfish, egotistical or even anti-social (yes – I have been called that a few times).
You’re simply choosing how you want to show up on this earth, you are in touch with your wants and needs and are living your true, authentic life.