The more times you say No, the easier it gets, and it’s not because you’ve learned how to do it, but because you get used to the feeling.
Which group do you belong to?
Do you find it difficult to say no? Do you feel the urge to explain yourself and give a reason, followed by an excuse, followed by more reasons? Would it surprise you to learn that you don’t have to give a reason? All the people in the world can be divided into two groups: those who can easily say No and those who cannot.
The people in the first group can hardly imagine why it is difficult to say No. Take flutes as an example. The people who can say that you just have to form an o with your lips and then blow. It is not difficult for them at all, just as it is not difficult for some to say No. One word with three letters. But for many people, it is not that simple. For them, the word No means a lot. This is especially true for people who grew up in a family where they had almost no opportunity to say No. This is a form of emotional neglect in their childhood.
4 Reasons Why You Find It Hard To Say No
You feel guilty.
People who have trouble saying No often tell me that they feel guilty for saying No to someone, even if that person’s request is unreasonable. That guilt comes from the idea that you should always be helpful and willing to help someone. If not, you would be a bad person.
You have low self-esteem.
This is the idea that you are not as important as other people. Your wishes and feelings come second. The wishes and feelings of others have a higher priority than your own. You have no right to put yours above theirs.
You don’t know how to say No.
You have the wrong idea of saying no.
You believe that you must give a reason to say No. If a friend asks you to go to the dry cleaners for her, do you have to give all the reasons why you can’t? Do you have a good excuse? This wrong idea often leads to long, detailed and unnecessary explanations.
4 Principles for Saying No
Now I share four principles with you that can help you. Read them as often as you want. Stick them on your (bathroom) mirror, absorb them or remember them, because they will set you free.
- All the people in your life have the right to ask you something. And you have the right to say No. Your guilt will disappear when you understand and accept this.
- Your wishes and feelings are just as important as those of others. You are the keeper of your wishes and feelings. You are responsible for prioritizing that.
- You don’t have to learn how to say No. You just have to be willing to make yourself uncomfortable. The more times you say No, the easier it gets, and it’s not because you’ve learned how to say No, but because you get used to the feeling.
- You don’t have to give an explanation. In addition to your right to say No, you also have the right not to make a statement. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t’, ‘I can’t do that’ or simply ‘No’ are all enough.