Whether it is agreeing to plans you are not interested in, taking more work than you can manage, or constantly finding yourself getting dragged to help with certain tasks that you can’t handle, it all boils down to one thing: finding it hard to say ‘no’. Many among us say ‘yes’ to many things we can’t or don’t want to do just because we don’t want to be perceived as rude. Our society has made us believe that always saying ‘ye’ makes you a nice and decent person. With this idea incepted in our minds, we don’t prefer saying ‘no’ because we think this will jeopardize our relationship with others, even if we will have to compromise our own time or wellness.
Why do we really have a hard time saying ‘no’?
• You feel guilty about letting people down.
• You don’t want to sound like someone who is not flexible.
• You are worried people won’t like you.
• You barely put yourself first.
• You like to take the role of a rescuer.
How to say ‘no’ with more ease?
1. Reflect on your feelings of obligation. The reason why we shy away from saying ‘no’ is a sense of obligation that we have to do a certain thing or that it is within our responsibility. You need to really revisit your idea of responsibilities that you owe others or yourself.
2. Allow yourself time to think about the request before giving an answer. You don’t have to reply with a ‘yes’, or ‘no’ immediately. When asked for something, give yourself time to sit on it and decide whether you can or want to.
3. Communicate it with kindness and transparency. The reason why we don’t like to say ‘no’ is because of how it comes off aggressively from others so we are worried we sound the same. You can still say ‘no’ in a nice and polite way. Consider a modified version of it such as ‘I wish I could but…’ or ‘I would have loved to… but’. This way you are more transparent about your ability and still doing it in a nice way.
4. Realize that it is ok to say ‘no’. There is nothing you should feel guilty about if you turn down someone’s request or decide not to tag along in a certain plan. The fears of you being disliked for it or that others will get upset are mostly self-created fears.
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