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It’s OK To Say ‘No’

‘It’s OK to say no’. However, I could have said, ‘It’s not OK to always say ‘yes’. Why is saying ‘no’ so hard to do? Have you ever found yourself in a situation, which you have said ’yes’ to, but wish you had said ‘no’? It’s a really common occurrence for many of us and so in my latest article, I discuss the reasons why we feel compelled to say ‘yes’ and tips that will help you to say the ‘no’ word. I hope that at the end of it, you will feel a lot more comfortable and agree with me that it is indeed OK to say ‘no’ from time to time.

Reasons we say ‘yes’

· Fear of upsetting others

· Feeling we will let others down

· Other person’s happiness is more important than our own

· Feel selfish for putting ourselves first

· Becomes a habit

We all want to be popular and liked

It’s natural to want to be liked, to be popular and to be accepted. And if we say ’no’, it’s normal that we feel that we will be letting people down and causing upset to them. These could be friends and family who we love or work colleagues who we want to stay close to. It may be a superior at work and the last thing we want to do is to agitate them and get on their wrong side.

Sacrificing our own happiness for others

It’s true that sometimes when we are agreeing to do things for others, we are sacrificing ourselves and end up doing something we would rather not be doing. Our own happiness is sacrificed because somebody else’s happiness has become more important than our own. We can also feel selfish for looking after our own needs instead of considering others bringing with it pangs of selfishness and being mean. This is especially true when it comes to our partners or children, family and friends.

Life can be so much easier if we learn to say ‘no’

The more we learn to say no, honour ourselves in what we do and feel safe to say, ‘I don’t want to do that ‘, the easier our lives can become. We then do what is best for us rather than what is best for everyone else. Sometimes in saying ‘yes’ to other people, we can actually be disempowering them by doing things for them that they really need to do, or learn to do for themselves.

The ‘yes’ word can be energy sapping and exhausting

Saying ‘yes’ can quickly become a habit and we find that we are unable to say no. This may put pressure on us as we find we are spending time doing these things and don’t have the time for the things we want to do. It’s also energy sapping and can be exhausting. We end up feeling cross with ourselves for saying ‘yes’ instead of being honest about how we feel.

Tips on how to say ‘no’

· Don’t say yes immediately – take time to consider your decision

· Practice saying ‘no’

· Consider the pros and cons of how it will affect you

· Feel safe to say no

· Communicate your decision clearly

· Be assertive and yet respectful

· Don’t procrastinate

· Come from a calm, centred and confident place

It’s a fact that sometimes people will not like hearing the word ‘no’, but they will learn to respect you and your boundaries. And it’s highly unlikely that our nearest and dearest will disown us just because we haven’t agreed to do something. In fact, sometimes it will do them some good. It’s the fear of being disliked or not being accepted that gets in our way at this point.

Why is saying ‘no’ so hard to say?

· We think people will judge us

· It will upset people

· We will feel guilty

· Feel nobody will like us

· We will appear selfish and/or rude

Don’t get caught out by ‘guilt tripping’

Always remember that you are important. Your time, energy, health and feelings are important too. If people have a problem with you saying ‘no’, then ultimately, it is their problem. Sometimes people will resort to ‘guilt tripping’ to get you to do what they want which is not OK and can lead to resentment. You are perfectly in your right to do what is best for you even if that is not what they consider is best for them. If somebody needs something doing then it’s OK to point out that maybe they need to do it for themselves or find an alternative.

Your job is to honour and respect yourself

If you find yourself constantly being asked or expected to do things for other people that you feel obliged to do, maybe it’s time to take your power back and be comfortable with honouring and putting yourself first. This is not you being selfish, this is you considering yourself and looking after you. When you say no from a calm and centred place it is often accepted a lot easier that you think. At the end of the day it is not your job to make another person’s world all right. It is your job however, to honour and respect yourself.

How can Becoming Aware help?

If you have found yourself in the situation of spending time doing things you would rather not do, I hope this article has given you some tips as to how you can say ‘no’ in the future. If you are still struggling, seeking professional help may be the answer. If you feel I can help you, please call me, Karen on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

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