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Don’t say yes when you want to say no



By Aditya Arora

It was ‘very last decade’ to #justsayyes to anything and work out the details later. But, in an age of everyday superheroes where we expect ourselves to multitask everything including the responsibilities from our families, jobs, friends, endless personal lists and social demands, we often tend to decide not to say ‘no’ to anything. Is it because we fear what others might think of us? Surely, we don’t want to be labelled selfish. Even worse, we don’t want to suffer from the Fear of Missing Out, aka FOMO.

For instance, someone is asking you for something. And you feel that if you say no, they’re going to hate you for it. So, you feel tempted to say yes even though you don’t want to. Ever been there? Yes, we all have. But, conflict avoidance is not an ingredient of successful relationships. Rather, it is a serious symptom of dysfunctional ones. If you cannot express negative feelings, your relationships will simply lose their authenticity.

As impossible as it may seem, people say no to requests all the time without facing any consequences. One forgets this simple thing too easily and concentrates on that 0.02% chance that someone might walk away from them, all flustered. The key is to be polite and empathetic. If you want to develop reasonable boundaries, then you should not be tempted to cave.

Ask yourself why are you saying no? And you will learn to eliminate unwanted obligations from your life. When you can identify and embrace your priorities, you will be able to focus on what you want. So, what should your default response be? Definitely not a ‘yes’ that you’ll regret later!

The idea of responding to requests immediately is not one of the immutable laws of thermodynamics. If you feel pressured for a yes, then ask for time.

Also, make a policy for yourself. Set clear boundaries. When you live by clear principles, it is easier to make decisions. People will respect your responses.

There are lesser chances that you will feel let down, if you live by the rule of saying ‘no’. One of the big reasons why people can’t say no is because they are either feeling guilty or responsible in some manner. They feel that they are turning down people who need their help. Therefore, think of all of the times that you have said “yes” to people in the past and consider what’s selfish about that?

Saying ‘no’ is not a negative thing. Remember, if you’re saying ‘no’ to one thing, then you’re saying ‘yes’ to a variety of possibilities that might benefit your life.

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