Humans are social animals who thrive on reciprocality. It is in our basic nature to be socially courteous, and the word 'No' feels like a conflict that warns a potential relationship. Many of us tend to comply with every single request that is put forward to us by our peers, family, or at the workplace by our superiors. We choose to take up more jobs than we can efficiently handle and put unnecessary stress on ourselves even at the cost of our time and well-being. Must we always do that?
Why is it so hard to say 'No'?
People have the notion that saying 'No' can come across as rude or uncaring. You may feel that you are letting someone down by turning down their request or risking a relationship. But, it has mostly to do with your self-confidence than your relationships with people. It may branch from overbearing parents, high expectations set by your peers and mentors or experiencing parenthood yourself and setting unreasonable standards for yourself. Childhood influences are usually the biggest cause of people always saying ‘yes’ all the time.
People who have low self-confidence tend to value their own needs less than the needs of others. Saying 'No' feels rude, and no one wants to be impolite.
Well... saying 'No' does not mean you are being rude or disagreeable.
At the end of the day, it is more about how you say 'no', rather than just saying the word 'No'. Saying 'No' is about valuing and respecting your own time and priorities.
How to start saying say 'No'?
If you want to take a step back and start saying 'No' to make sure your own needs are valued, here’s what you need to do.
Bringing in these changes can help you be more self-confident, and at the same time enable you to say no when you need to without weighing yourself down with expectations and fear or rejection.