Take a few seconds to think for a bit. Do you find yourself saying “yes” to everyone and making commitments even though sometimes you don’t want to? For example, you are tired but still say “yes” to an invitation to a party of friends.
Unfortunately, those reluctant “yes(es)” sometimes put you in bad situations, and it is usually you who suffers. That’s why saying no is self care in specific cases.
Why Do We Say Yes to Everything?
“Are you going to the party tonight?” – Yes. “Can you help me with my homework?” – Yes. “Can you help us move houses?” – Yes. There are many good reasons why you may not find yourself saying “no” to an offer or request.
Maybe you don’t want to offend your boss or your friends. Maybe you were taught to pamper your loved ones as much as possible from a young age.
But the cost of always saying “yes” is higher than expected. Over time, you will be overwhelmed, stressed, and tired. In this case, saying “yes” to others means saying “no” to both your physical and mental health. That’s exactly what you’re doing, though maybe you don’t realize it.
Why Do You Feel Bad Saying No?
The Way of Education From a Young Age
A lot of people feel obligated to agree with everyone, perhaps because of a feeling of wanting to please everyone. For some people, the difficulty of saying “no” originates from childhood.
When they were kids, they were taught to be forthcoming and polite. If their parents or teachers asked them to do something, not saying “yes” was interpreted as a form of backtalk. In some circumstances, refusing adults may result in negative reinforcement or punishment.
You Feel “Indebted” Someone
One thing that motivates you to say “yes” to someone is that they have helped you in the past. In this case, you may be stuck with a feeling of “owing them”.
You cannot feel obliged forever as it will build resentment, which can cause stress, even making you ill in the long term. So it is necessary to consider whether your “debt” has been repaid. Also, do the necessary things to let others know you are putting yourself first.
If someone sees your rejection as a problem, we recommend severing ties and removing these people from your life.
One of the other reasons you may find it difficult to refuse is if you doubt your ability. With imposter syndrome, you might think you aren’t well enough to complete a role.
Because of these bad feelings, you find it difficult to refuse for fear that others will think that you cannot carry out your responsibilities and roles.
Why “Saying No Is Self-care?”
Why is saying no a form of self-care? Here are two main reasons:
You’re Proactively Taking Care of Your Holistic Health
Saying “yes” and accepting to do everything for everyone can quickly build up your stress. Then, doing too much can overwhelm you, causing and adding chronic stress as well as exhaustion.
We all know that doing too much will contribute to increased stress levels. So you must understand your boundaries and what you can do with the available time. You have limited time and should always prioritize taking care of yourself.
For example, you can say “no” to partying all night with colleagues or completing someone’s work to maintain your health and fitness.
It Prevents Encouraging Others Of Their Bad Behaviors
In addition to affecting your health, hesitating to say “no” also enables others’ bad behavior. It often happens to you in many different forms. For example, your colleague asks for something inappropriate such as helping them cover up a work mistake, or a friend asks you for a loan.
While what your colleague is asking for or the amount of money your friend wants to borrow may be relatively insignificant, it can create bad behavior and lead to more future requests.
When you say “no” or “yes” selectively, it will stay that way. It is all about setting a limit and conveying this limit clearly to whoever is asking.
When You Should Say “No”
Whenever you feel one of the following signs, you should say “No” for your own good.
When You Are Overloaded
In case you’re overloaded with your current job or other responsibilities, you should refuse to do more projects or other jobs until you free up some energy and time. Doing too many tasks at once stresses you out and prevents you from getting everything done efficiently.
If You Feel Uncomfortable
If a person asks you something that makes you feel uncomfortable, saying “no” is the way to go. Take a moment to listen to your intuition before making a decision.
If You Say “Yes” Just To Please Others
Consistently trying to please others can quickly cost you your health, happiness, and in some cases, your rights, and it will not be worth it. In this case, saying “yes” to others means saying “no” to you.
If The Requests Cross Your Boundaries
Only you know your limits. So when someone asks you something that crosses your abilities and boundaries, you can’t go wrong with simply saying “no.” You’ll leave others even more frustrated if you take a job or make a commitment but can’t follow through.
Pro Tips On How to Say “No”
Learning how to say “no” is not as easy as it seems, especially once it has become your habit. No matter how difficult it is, it’s never too late to start today.
Practice Saying “No”
Learning to reject someone’s request will take time and practice. You might feel bad at first, but the more frequently you say “no,” the more effortless it will become. You should practice assertiveness in every aspect until it becomes part of your lifestyle.
Be Clear About Your Decision
The more clear you are about refusing a person’s request or offer, the better they will respond. If you’re uncertain about declining your decision, it will be difficult for the person to respect it.
Avoid Beating Around the Bush
It’s never wise to give lengthy explanations as to why you’re saying “no.” It will give others the impression that you are just making up excuses. Always favor a simple, straightforward, short, yet polite approach to refusal. Sometimes you don’t even need to explain much. A simple, “I’m not available” might just do the trick.
Take Your Time Before Making a Decision
If you are unsure about whether you should accept a task, we recommend taking the time to think about it. After that, you can start the conversation again with a clear head.
Express Gratitude When Saying “No”
If a person asks you to do something and you have to respond with an “no,” gratitude can make things go well. Expressing gratitude when given a new assignment will show others that you respect them. For example, if you are invited to a happy hour with coworkers but have other items to tend to or are simply too tired, saying “no, but thank you so much for the offer” can show you appreciate their want to invite you but allows you to decline so you can focus on you politely.
Be Respectful But Assertive
Be tactful, polite, but firm if you decide to say “no” to a request. You don’t have to apologize to the other person but should show respect. If this person keeps repeating the request, just keep repeating the same refusal and remember to respect your own boundaries. That’s an act of self-love.
Wrapping It Up
You don’t have to say “yes” to everything and everyone. It is time to ignore the urge to agree to everything and be selective about what you agree to.
Saying “no” does not mean you are rude, selfish, or cold. Instead, it just means that you have a strong sense of self-respect and you are taking control of your life. Prioritizing your needs is the most loving thing you can do for yourself!