Filed in

The Importance of Saying “No” in a World of “Yes’s”

Have you ever said “yes” to so many commitments that you stress yourself out? I know that I have, and I know there are many of you that are guilty of this, as well.

It seems like today’s society glorifies the idea of being busy. We are always on the go, saying “yes” work-related requests and yes to social invitations- so much to the point that we wear ourselves down.

In order to keep ourselves from being over-busy and over-stressed we must teach ourselves to say the word “no” more often. Learning the significance of this word will help us take decision-making more seriously and realize what is important for our personal needs.

Here are three simple tips to consider when teaching yourself to say, “no.”

Don’t rush

Our automatic tendency is to say “yes” when we are asked something under pressure. Occasionally you have no choice, but if you are able to give a decision some thought, then do so. I like to ask myself, “Do I have time for this?” Or “Will I benefit from this in any way?” Taking time to think before you answer someone (Even it’s for a minute or two) will help you say “no” to the things that you don’t feel like you need to do.

Don’t be a people pleaser

Often times we say, “yes” to commitments simply because we want to please everyone. “Sure, I’ll help you with that project.” Or “Sure, I can pick up an extra shift.” If you are extremely busy or just need a break, the person asking the favor will understand. I tend to feel guilty saying “no” in these cases, but there’s no need to. People certainly won’t hate you for saying “no.”

Meet halfway

There are commonly times when you want to commit, but not all the way or not at that specific time. In these situations try to meet the person half way. Instead of taking on a whole project at work, how about taking on part of it? Instead of volunteering three days a week, how about picking one day on the weekend? Compromising will allow you to commit to the things you want to do without the feeling like you are doing too much.

Saying “no” is definitely easier said than done, but keeping these tips in mind will help you say “no” when you feel like you really need to!



2 Responses

  1. I call this the “necessary” no, and it’s a skill that can be incredibly hard to grasp. There are times when a N-O answer is in the best interest of all parties involved. No doesn’t necessarily have to mean never. Saying no “right now” just might open you up for better opportunities in the future.

Leave a Reply