I have seen people around me saying yes and regretting not being able to say no. We have been brought up thinking saying no was a rude gesture that can invite either anger or judgment from the person hearing it.
However, I have also seen many people stretching themselves beyond their limits and paying a heavy price for not being able to say no.
So how do we strike a balance? We cannot please all the people all the time. Taking out time for ourselves and not give in to everything others expected us to do does not help us either.
Learning to say no is the simplest, yet most complicated skill. Yet everyone must learn and master in their lives. I sometimes wonder why we were not taught it in school! It is such an important lesson in life.
A lack of this skill is causing people to stress and add to the mental agony. We were all brought up to believe that saying no was wrong. Moral science lessons told us that trying to accommodate other people’s requests is our duty.
It makes us more humble and human. Yes. It does. But at what cost? Isn’t making our lives comfortable also our moral duty? I am not advocating against it. However, if it was done by stretching yourself beyond the limits of sanity, it’s better to say a No.
Remove the guilt associated with saying no. If you can say yes and help a person, that’s fantastic. However, if you say yes under compulsion and do something half-heartedly, it doesn’t help. You do not feel completely satisfied. You feel like a victim. I have sometimes observed that people also start taking you for granted.
It’s ok to say no when you intend to say no. Don’t be a victim of your self-expectations. Break free and say what you want to say.
Some interesting resources I found regarding the art of saying no: