Saying “no” is difficult and almost always, our first answer is yes”, even if that implies a greater burden and even a problem for us.
A neighbor who lives asking for things, a co-worker who you always have to cover, your boss who asks you for more and more hours, a classmate who demands notes and papers, there are infinite examples of situations in which we should say no, but we do exactly the opposite. This is a bad tactic, because sooner or later it will affect you and prevent you from making your dreams come true, since you will always procrastinate.
the thin line
Human beings want to please others, we want to be accepted, “like” our peers.
Also, if we try to please everyone, we often stop liking ourselves.
The line between healthy “giving in” to others and doing it too much is blurred and unclear. If we cross it, it can
represent a great danger.
How many times did you say “YES” to others, at the cost of saying NO to yourself? How many times have you put aside what you really wanted and went against your feelings and desires, just to satisfy someone? Probably many and this is not a good idea.
Sometimes we have a hard time maintaining our posture. Our voice can shake when we say NO, as can our hands or legs. We avoid looking at the other person, we feel bad, uncomfortable. We feel absolutely incapable of refusing, despite knowing perfectly well that the consequences will be negative for us.
However, learning to protect what we really feel is essential for our personal development and for our mental well-being. Do not think that there are some people who were born to impose what they want and that others are condemned to say “yes”: saying NO to the other person, acknowledging a disagreement, making it clear that you have a contrary opinion, is a skill that can develop.
We are not condemned to eternal unhappiness, to always be dissatisfied and angry with ourselves for always saying yes, because that can lead to enormous frustration for not asserting our opinions.
When the “no” is positive
We tend to think that “no” is negative, but it is not necessarily so. Many times, it is an absolutely positive and clear affirmation of our own integrity. When we say “no” to the other, we are saying “yes” to ourselves, to what we want and feel.
It means that we have control over our own life and that we know exactly what we want and what we can do.
When to say NO
1. One of the occasions in which you must say “no”, is when it allows you to remain loyal to your principles and values. If you say yes to something contrary to what you think, you will undoubtedly feel bad later, do not become an accomplice of things that you will regret.
2. The “no” protects you from being used and people walking all over you. There are plenty of people who will take advantage of your tendency to say yes and will live asking for favors, work, time or money.
3. When you say “no” to things that waste your time, you gain opportunities to fight for what you want and desire. Fulfilling your goals should be your main priority, as long as you live saying “yes” to others, you will always postpone them.
4. The “no” protects you from being emotionally abused. How many times have you gone to a place where there are people who make you feel bad, only for not saying “no” when they invite you? Avoid meeting with people who make you feel bad, who detract from you or make unpleasant comments; for that, say “no”. 5. The “no” will allow you to change the things that harm you: an activity, a schedule, a job. Do not persist in what affects you, only to avoid looking bad.
How to do it?
Discomfort and fear are the natural reactions when we must say “no”, especially the first few times.
There are some tricks that will allow you to successfully circumvent the moment.
-Substitute the “yes” you say almost automatically, for “I’ll think about it”. In this way, you will have control of the situation and prepare the ground for a possible “no”.
-Take your time to answer. Normally we want to do it quickly, but it is not necessary. It may be that a friend asks you for money, a co-worker asks you to cover for him on a Sunday or a relative wants you to take care of his children: you don’t have to respond right away. Think about it well so you can evaluate all the consequences of your answer. Sometimes we say “yes” because we respond quickly, but we regret it later. Say you will think about it and calmly assess the pros and cons of your decision.
– Always keep your priorities in mind, prioritize your feelings, goals and objectives. If what someone asks of you goes against them, say “no” to that person. -Show an alternative to what they ask you. Maybe the problem is not that you don’t want to do something, but that now you can’t. Answer: “I don’t want to go to the movies today, but the weekend would be great”, if that’s what you really want.
-Do not lie or look for excuses that are too far-fetched. A “no, thank you”, followed by silence, is very clear and effective. It may be uncomfortable the first time, but practice will make you better at this. Remember: “no thanks” and then silence.
Don’t blame yourself for saying “no”. You have the right to tell your partner that you prefer to be alone or with your friends at some point. Lying is not necessary and neither is giving too many explanations: just say “NO” without feeling guilty about it. As you have already seen, the “no” can become a powerful tool of affirmation and power, learn to say it when necessary.