Why it’s OK to say NO

by Laura Kronen on September 9, 2013

its ok to say noDo you find that you say yes too quickly? Sometimes you can feel intense pressure to do all kinds of things you do not want to do. That pressure is actually self-imposed. Stop thinking about the things you should do. Or the things you think you should want to do. Or the things other people might expect you to do.  It is OK to say no.

It’s OK to say no if you don’t feel moved by an opportunity—no matter how exciting it might sound to someone else. Happiness is a choice, but it’s made up of lots of smaller choices we need to make based on what we actually want. For instance, would you rather stay in and relax than go out but you feel pressured from a friend? Only we know when we need to recharge and take care of ourselves, so it’s up to us to recognize and honor that.

It’s OK to say no if you’d need to sacrifice your needs to help someone else—even if a part of you feels a little guilty about it. People are always going to have requests, and some people have them more than others. Sometimes we’ll be able to help; sometimes we won’t. We’re still good people regardless. Telling people “no” doesn’t make you unlikable. Failing to say “no” when it’s appropriate to do so makes you a doormat. And the really ugly kicker here is that saying “yes” doesn’t necessarily make you likeable.

It’s OK to say no because you don’t have time—even if you don’t know right in this moment when you’ll be more available. We’re allowed to say no without hinting toward a future yes. It’s good, mandatory even, to set personal boundaries. Know where you draw your personal lines and be prepared to stick up for them. That’s what boundaries are for.

It’s OK to say no without a detailed excuse—even if you feel like you should offer one. “This doesn’t feel right for me right now” is a perfectly valid reason.  Don’t feel guilty for not wanting to do something. It’s your choice, your decision, and you accept the consequences either way so feel good about standing up for yourself. And, don’t be seduced by money. Some things just aren’t worth it. Liking yourself is much more important.

It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.






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