Saying the word no can have an amazing effect on our well-being and help empower us to make a road map that outlines our aspirations in life. However, it’s not that easy. The ability to say no is much more complicated than one would think. We humans are complex souls inundated with the constant desire to be accepted, loved, and included, making it hard for us to say no, but why?
The average individual usually has difficulty saying no in common situations, such as work and social events. We never want to feel or be perceived as the odd one out. It’s been embedded into us since the inception of human beings, we want to be a part of the pact, and we want to be a part of the team. It’s how we have survived for as long as we have.
So, naturally, the word no has a negative connotation behind it. People worry when they say no, fear they are closing the door on an opportunity, a connection, or the chance to be involved in something new. However, we aren’t cavemen anymore. The way our society is built with all of the distractions and the demands of everyday life. We need to say no more often to things that are unimportant to our survival.
The Benefits of Saying No
Saying yes can and does have its value behind the word, but so does saying no, but ultimately we should reserve our yes’s to things that are good for us and can propel us in life. So, we want to shed light on the benefits of saying no and how the word can be used as a shield to protect you from doing things that may overwhelm and stress you out. So, let’s go over the advantages of the word no, and why you should use it more often.
Saying No Keeps You Available
Saying no to things that do not align with your own values, interests, or ambitions. Will keep you open to things that bring value and growth to you. There are so many things in life that we can do personally and professionally that we can benefit from.
However, there is equally maybe even more things in life that get in the way. If we let those barriers that we have no interest in take over, we might be missing out on things that will hurt our chances to travel a path that we truly desire.
Saying No Helps Preserve Your Energy
Let’s be realistic with ourselves. The more we age, the less energy we have to work with, but that’s life. It’s an unfortunate reality that we have to realize that sometimes our ambitions are higher than the energy levels we actually have to offer, and that’s not including the daily responsibilities that can weigh us down.
Saying no to things that get in the way of our interests keeps us fresh for the things that are important to us. Having energy for the things that we say yes to allows us to enjoy and allocate more energy to our interests. Being exhausted after spending energy on the things we should have said no to can be detrimental to our the fire and passion we have inside.
Saying No Sets boundaries
Setting boundaries with family, friends, and work is an essential function in life. Unless you are personally responsible for someone else, we can’t nor should we be available for everyone that asks for our time. It’s impossible to accommodate everyone, and if we try, we will burn out.
Having a healthy balance for everyone in your life ensures that you are being respectful to yourself and the time that you have. Once you have your boundaries in place, the people around you will also start to respect your time because they know the reservation you have in place.
Saying No Prioritizes You
When it comes to you and your time, emotions, and desires, you are the center of your universe. And it’s okay to think like that; you have to be selfish with your time and requests to which you say yes. Every single one of us is a valuable human being whose time and efforts are just as valuable as others in society. So, never settle and prioritize your time above everyone else because you are the main character in your story, so you get to pick the adventures.
Saying No Is Great Communication
People who have difficulty saying no often struggle to be direct with what they want. Not being straightforward with your no usually carries adverse effects. For example, when you give a vague answer like, “let me think about it?” It not only screams uncertainty on your part but also allows someone to keep asking until they get an answer they want to hear.
Giving vague answers is a common way to get out of things temporarily. Still, it doesn’t resolve the issue at hand and creates a more significant problem down the road, such as:
- Leaving the requester another way to ask you for your time
- It opens you up to anxiety and worries about the subsequent request
- It gives off the perception that you do not know what you want, as if your time and desires are up for debate.
Being direct in how you feel about spending your time is excellent communication. It’s not being offensive, it’s not being harsh, and if a requester can’t accept that, then that person will never respect your time or efforts. And, if that’s the case saying no is a means of standing your ground.
Finding The Discipline Behind Saying No
Saying no is a lot harder than one can imagine. As stated above, it goes against our instincts. However, anything worth changing will require discipline, effort, and constant steps to achieve the change you want. And acquiring the ability to say no to things that do not interest you will take work and practice.
Some ways that can help you:
- Identifying your boundaries, know what you are willing to say yes to and what you will say no to.
- List your passions and ambitions, and then list your dislikes.
- Practice saying no to things that will not cause friction or conflict, and start expanding your comfort zone.
- Be direct and concise with your answer, and work on not explaining unless it’s necessary.
- Being nice in your no; being direct does not mean being cold or without empathy in declining requests that do not align with your interests.
Finding the discipline to start saying no to things will not be easy. We want to be liked and get approval from others, but we shouldn’t strive for those external qualities by doing things we do not want to do. By sticking with your interests, you will be far more fulfilled and gain much more value in life.
The Author’s Book Suggestion
The Art of Saying No by Damon Zahariades
The Art of Saying No is about learning how to say no respectfully and assertively. It also provides tips on handling difficult situations where you may feel pressured to say yes.
Saying no can be difficult, especially if you are used to saying yes all the time. But it’s essential to learn how to do it to avoid being taken advantage of or getting into situations that you don’t want to be in.
The book offers helpful advice on how to deal with different types of people who may try to pressure you into saying yes. It also guides when and how to say no in various situations.
If you are looking for ways to become better at saying no, this book is definitely for you. It will help you learn how to stand up for yourself and set boundaries respectfully and assertively.