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The Art of Saying NO

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to reluctantly say Yes to someone just so you don’t disappoint the other person? Ever felt horrible after saying no to someone? Wondered why is it so difficult to just say NO!?

Saying Yes is generally seen as welcoming and warm whereas saying NO is perceived as cold, negative and assertive. Saying NO to someone or something that you are not in tune with is not a sign of being negative, but a sign of setting boundaries. When a friend asks you for $100 dollars the first time, you might give the money without much thought. However, when this happens for the 5th time, it will be about high time that you would be feeling miserable and stuck because you don’t want to hurt your friend by saying NO. It can be extremely stressful or scary to say No but is there a point in saying yes to others by making yourselves so miserable?

We normally say yes as a result of guilt, fear, the need for credibility and ownership and to please others. Saying Yes when we want to scream NO is also a sign of having a limited self-boundary. Creating a self-boundary is so important because it protects our mental self and morale. In addition to that, setting boundaries can also improve your relationships with others in the long run. If you keep saying yes to others in fear of their reaction, it will cause animosity and grudge to the other party.

Here are some ways to stand up for yourself and say NO without feeling like it’s going to be the end of the world.

1. Set clear boundaries within yourselves.

Say goodbye to the days where you are “unsure” about what you believe in. It is important to know what you want and what you don’t want. If you don’t want to lend $100 to your friend for the 5th time in a month, step your feet down and say NO. Their reaction to your NO is not in your control, therefore be mindful of taking care of your emotions when saying NO.

2. Put yourselves first

Make sure your needs and wants are fulfilled and that they do not cause a hindrance to your goals by saying NO. Are your needs met? Are you happy? If you can say Yes to these by saying NO, then you are on the right path of putting yourself first.

3. Be Fearless.

You might worry if you will end up hurting or offending the receiving party if you say No; what you need to understand is that their reaction is not in your control. You are only doing what is right for your happiness. If saying no to the right things gives you inner peace, then do it.

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