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The Art Of Saying No Part 1: 5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Say No

Dr H Smith. August 2019

· Mind,Life Skills,Relationships

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something you wished that you’d said ‘no’ to instead? Chances are you’ve done that not just once, but several times in your life, and likely regretted it everytime. Why is it so terribly hard to say ‘no’ when deep down you know that it’s the right thing to do?

As it turns out, a lot of those answers come from the pastand our upbringing. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rewrite the past. Let’s take a look at several reasons people say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no.’

1. “If I say no, I'm weak.” Far from being weak when you say ‘no’ you’re showing a great deal of strength. It takes someone with confidence, and the ability to look out for their own mental and physical health to put their foot down.

2. “I don’t want to let anyone down.” Believe it or not, when most people ask for a favor, they are already expecting the person they’re asking to say ‘no.’They meet that refusal with a shrug and a determination to try someone else. People aren’t as invested as you think. The only person you’re letting down here is yourselfif you say ‘yes’ when you don’t want to.

3. “I’ll be seen as difficult to work with.” Again this is where your perception of the situation is off. People will see you as being difficult to work with if you're …difficult. So long as you’re not belligerent, angry, or abusive when you say ‘no,’no one is going to think anything at all. Keep in mind that there are other ways you can still contribute and be part of the team without saying ‘yes’ to every little thing asked of you.

4. “I want to prove my worth.” Poor self-esteem drives this statement. Frequently we set out to prove ourselves by becoming indispensable. Unfortunately, all that it shows when you say ‘yes’ to everything is that people can easily take advantage of you. No one thinks highly of someone who says ‘yes’ all the time.

5. “If I say ‘no,’ I'm selfish.” This one comes straight out of childhood where we are taught to be agreeable from the time we’re small. In reality, it’s very healthy to put your own needs first. After all, how can you take care of anyone else, if you’ve compromised not only your time but your energy and quite possibly your health to take care of everyone else first?

There are many more excuses to saying ‘yes.’ What you need to realize is that whenever you feel put out, angry, or resentful about doing something, a ‘yes’ in that situation is just that – an excuse. That’s where you need to examine your motives, and then ask yourself – is that truly the person you want to be? Chances are, it’s time for a change.

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy.This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.

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This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.