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How hard can it be to just say NO?

If you find yourself saying YES when you‘d really like to say NO, then you, my friend, are in excellent company.

But what on earth is going on? We’re adults who can choose how to spend our time and who we spend it with, yet we can find ourselves succumbing to less than purposeful or even enjoyable commitments, over and over again.

It’s become quite clear in this period of social distancing, that there is one particular, almost taboo, benefit being felt by many. We talk openly about how we enjoy being less busy, ditching the commute, spending more time with the family etc. but there’s a definite sub-text when we scratch beneath the surface. We have temporarily escaped the tedious events, gatherings and favours we used to say yes to.

I‘m not recommending you stop helping out friends or attending family events or start giving your boss the bird when asked to pick up a piece of work....

BUT, it is ok to be selective about what you say yes to. Doing something you don’t want to do breeds resentment; not good for you or anyone else involved to be honest. So, why do we do it?

Good old fashioned fears play a big part.

fear of missing out

fear of what others will think

fear of (perceived) failure

Saying no can make us feel guilty or selfish. Sometimes we say yes because we perceive the other person to be in authority, such as parental or boss figures. Very often we want to please others and maintain their approval or friendship. All too frequently we worry about the effects of simply saying no; maybe they’ll think I can’t handle it/ what if I need something from them another time?

If you recognise that you frequently put others needs before you’re own, then you’re probably a kind and thoughtful person BUT, YOU MATTER TOO. It’s important to recognise your worth. It’s not self centred or vain to recognise your life holds so much value... it’s essential to your wellbeing and sense of purpose.

So, next time you’re thinking “hell no!“.... just pause, before you stutter through “ooo, interesting, let me check my diary...”

There are many nice ways to say “no thanks“. If you'd like to work on your confidence, self -esteem or “having a voice”, get in touch.

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