How to Say No


(Image via Connect Association)

Sierra Mejia, Writer

Sometimes there will be moments in your life where you feel like everyone’s counting on you to say yes, and sometimes that’s the last thing you want to say.  At the same time, saying no is a very bold decision to take and not everyone takes the chance to say it. So, they end up suffering and living with the situation instead of finding a way to stop it. These situations happen all the time and it’s common to feel afraid of the outcome. The right to say ‘No’ is something that everyone has. The power to say ‘No’ is a different story entirely.

Recently, I was in a situation where my friend kept nagging me about doing her favors. I wanted to help and I wanted to be nice, but it was to the point where enough was enough. During those times I felt trapped in the situation because I wanted to be a good friend and I was afraid that if I didn’t do what she had asked she wouldn’t be my friend anymore. With that being said, I didn’t see the problem at first and agreed to help her with her situation.  Favors after favors and I was exhausted, always being the one responsible for her dirty work. I felt used and worthless and I began to feel like this person wasn’t who I thought she was. Maybe this whole time the friendship was more important to me than it was to her? I mistook attention for friendship. I blamed myself and thought for days that I was the problem. I convinced myself that nothing was ever enough. This was the problem I created for myself because I never knew I had the power to say no.

This example shows you why saying no is so important. If you never stand up for yourself, then you get in unwanted scenarios like these. Sometimes saying no may hurt other people’s feelings but it’s important to honor yourself, your beliefs, and most importantly, your feelings. If you always find yourself saying yes, when the time comes you’ll begin saying no to the important things. As weeks go by, you’ll feel stressed and frustrated by all the things on your plate. Often, people put things on their schedule of things they don’t enjoy instead of experiencing the things they like i.e. they miss out on the opportunities in life.

Saying no is not an easy thing to do. We all just want to be nice, we want to be agreeable, and we want to be liked. Yet, even when it’s good for you to say no you may avoid saying it because you don’t want to let someone down. We do this because we want to preserve our relationships with the people we care about, and that’s totally normal. But, to take the first step in saying no you actually have to realize how much power it has. Instead of saying things like “I’m not sure” or “I’ll think about it” go straight to the word and say it with confidence. This isn’t easy, so to make it less difficult you can practice saying the word more about little situations until the word loses power over you. Also, don’t leave someone hanging, always tell them as soon as possible. Don’t hope they will forget about it, they won’t. In some scenarios, people may encourage you to do what they have asked, but don’t be afraid to say it twice. Another option is to emphasize your reason for saying no, sometimes that’s all someone needs to understand and they will move on. Don’t let yourself be a doormat.

We all need to start saying no more because once that happens, we can finally begin to say yes to important things that we enjoy doing in life. The next time you are caught between someone else’s happiness and your own well being, just know that you saying no is saying yes to the things you want to accomplish later on in life. The right to say ‘no’ is your own personal power.