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Who thought saying yes, all the time can be problematic? I mean, Yes is a positive word, and it shouldn’t have a negative impact, right? Wrong. Saying yes to everything can be emotionally and physically draining; it can consume your time and energy in things you don’t want to do or get involved in and keep you from things that make you happy. Rather saying “no” more is a form of self-love. 

William Ury the Author of the Book “ The Power of a Positive No – Save the Deal, Save the relationship and still say No,” states in his book that the dilemma we have in saying no rises from a conflict between our sense of power and the desire to cater to someone’s needs.

How Saying “No” Is A Form of Self-Love

According to Ury, when asked to do something we don’t want to, we usually react in the following three ways:

  1. Accommodate: We give in to the request; we say yes without thinking about how it will affect us. We put the needs of others before our own and end up going out of our way. Most people end up accommodating because they do not want to look rude or mean. 
  2. Attack: When our loved ones or people close to us put us in a position where we wouldn’t want to do a given task, instead of saying a simple no, we tend to lash out at them. Usually thinking they are responsible for putting us in an uncomfortable spot. This reaction ends up bruising our relationship that a simple no could have saved. 
  3. Avoid: Most of the time, people tend to ignore the question or message, thinking they wouldn’t have to say yes to it. However, ignoring a request or problem can be more disrespectful than a simple no. 

There are a lot of benefits of saying “No,” like:

  1. Every time you say no to a task, you say yes to a task that you love. 
  2. You practice self-love and awareness. 
  3. You get to do things that you like.
  4. Standing up for yourself can help boost self-confidence.
  5. Saying no is a brave thing to do.
  6. You know what you want.
  7. You stay happier and more content.


    How to say “No” more

All you have to say is no in work and personal life, to show people where your boundaries lie and the grounds you stand. Here are some ways to practice saying no without coming off as rude: 

  1.  Ask them to give you time: Sometimes, it is better to ask for time to think about a request instead of fleeting to a yes. Take your time to process the request and how comfortable you are with it.
  2. Frost it up with a compliment: Compliment them before declining; for example, this seems like an amazing idea, but I will have to pass.
  3.  Tell them your schedule: If you are willing to do a task and time is the problem, let them know by saying I won’t be able to do it today, how about (when you are free)?
  4. Tell them why: Give them a reason for saying no; for example, I cannot come out tonight as I feel like spending some time with family.
  5. Be direct: Instead of ignoring the question or request just give them a straight no; for example, Thank you for considering me, but I cannot right now, or Unfortunately, it is not a good time. It is better than no reply.

Sometimes you commit something and realize that you wouldn’t be comfortable completing it; at times like that, you can always say no, and this is how:

  1. Acknowledge that you agreed to the request.
  2. Apologize and tell them why you rethink the commitment.
  3. Offer a solution or alternative.
  4. Be open to feedback and questions.

In a book written by Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch,’ How to say No without feeling guilt,’ they note that no one has the right to force you to violate your privacy. 

Stop giving people control of your life and take it back. It is the smallest yet the most powerful act of self-love. Say “No” more because say it with me, saying no is a form self-love.

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Aastha Shahi
Aastha Shahi

Marketing executive by the day and a writer with a head full of ideas by night. Aastha loves anything that requires a spin of creativity. She believes that in a world full of black and white everyone is just a different colour of grey i.e. everyone has a good and a bad side and it is okay. Aside from that she also enjoys sports like tennis, soccer and marathons.

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