The Power of Saying “No”

I often forget that I’m allowed to say no to people. I usually try and do anything I can to help someone, normally I don’t mind but sometimes I need to remember that I don’t need to do everything for someone, I don’t need to be everybody’s go to person just when they needs something.

I don’t understand why we view ‘no’ as a bad word almost, maybe it’s because we don’t want to hear it ourselves so everyone tries to avoid saying. Personally, I would much rather someone tell me that they don’t want to do something then do it and resent me for it.

We think that ‘no’ has so much power and sometimes it does but other times it really does. To tell someone “No, I don’t agree with you,” can make someone question a whole friendship or the backlash from not agreeing with someone can make you question a friendship. If someone is really your friend they should understand that you can’t do everything for them and agree to everything they say. I’m not that kind of person and I’m not going to make myself be that kind of person just because that would make certain people in my life happy.

No is a really good word that we need to use more. I mean unless it’s a dire situation and you’re just being mean by saying no, why would you say yes if you don’t want to? I think we live in a world of people who want to please other people. Someone asks you to hang out and you don’t want to? Say no. Someone wants you to see a movie that you have no interest in and you think it’s a waste of $10 say no. It’s easy to say no we just get too attached to saying yes and wanting to please everyone around us. We’re too afraid to hurt people.

Also if someone says no don’t try to guilt them into doing something, let them say no. “Oh but I really want you to come over tonight and watch Batman” and if their response is “No, I don’t really like Batman” if you aren’t going to suggest something else drop it. Let them be.

Personally, I know I need to take this advice. I’m terrified of saying no. I’m afraid that if I say no that they won’t want to be my friend anymore, I might pity someone and think I have the time so why not? But that shouldn’t be my answer if I don’t want to do it. I don’t think no should be an excuse to get out of things like family obligations but if there are things that if you really don’t want to do you shouldn’t have to do them.

For example I don’t want to take my finals, but I’m not going to say no because that has a consequence that is very negative. I also don’t really want to work over break but I’m going to. However, if something comes up that I don’t want to do like go to NYC like my friends brought up I’m not going to go because I don’t want to, it’s expensive, and crowded I’m not going to go, I’ll say no.

It’s great to take opportunities that come once in a lifetime but it’s also good to say no if you don’t want to take it.  I don’t know but I feel like I end up doing a lot of things I don’t want to do because I feel bad if I say no, does anyone else do this or is it just me? Or am I the only person who consciously recognizes that I could easily say no but just don’t? Let me know.

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2 thoughts on “The Power of Saying “No”

  1. gettingthroughanxiety December 16, 2014 / 10:02 pm

    Mary,
    I understand what you’re saying. Sometimes we don’t want to say “no” because if we do, we feel guilty or are manipulated into feeling guilty. However, the power to say “no” is what shows that we can stand up for ourselves. You’re right, we should be nice and do for others what we can, but if we really don’t want to do something because it’s dangerous or because we don’t want to, we shouldn’t.

    • Mary December 16, 2014 / 11:14 pm

      Right, there are obligations that come with life, but there are things we don’t have to do that if we don’t want to do we can say no.

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