What you need to know:
- Many of us associate the word No with rudeness, unkindness or even selfishness.
- Right from childhood, we are taught that saying Yes to more requests is what being a good friend, colleague or family entails.
Many of us associate the word No with rudeness, unkindness or even selfishness. Right from childhood, we are taught that saying Yes to more requests is what being a good friend, colleague or family entails.
Sadly, these beliefs stick with us and we end up being people pleasers, sacrificing our own wellbeing for the sake of others. It is important to always put yourself first, and that starts with saying Yes to things that suit you and not what suits others. Here is how you can tell when it is time to say No.
When you are too busy
Whereas this may seem obvious, it is not unusual to find ourselves rearranging our already full schedules and taking up more work. Perhaps your colleague has asked you to cover for him or your friends want you to go out with them when you’ve already made other plans. Mindset coach Ruth Kidzi says that when we already have so much to do, we should decline requests for more work or defer them for later.
When someone tries to use you
These are people who never think about you or check up on you unless they need something from you. They are always in a crisis they need your help to get out of, and are very persuasive. They use all manner of tricks, including guilt tripping, just to get you to do something for them. If such a person asks for help or a favour, do not hesitate to say No, and be assertive.
When you feel bad about doing something
Have you ever wanted to do something, and even before you start, you get a bad feeling about it, even if you can’t explain why? That is your instinct at work. If someone asks you to do something and you immediately feel like it is not a good thing to do, trust your instinct and decline the request.
When the Yes is motivated by guilt
Certain requests are made with the intention of making you feel guilty in case you don’t say Yes, and to leave you feeling like you don’t have a choice because declining will leave you feeling bad about yourself. An example is a request to donate. At times we find ourselves in situations where we feel like donating to someone's wedding, funeral or other event is what we need to do. Perhaps you are not able to afford the expense but you feel so obligated to pay up to avoid looking bad, that you end up getting into debt.
If you encounter such a situation, just stay true to yourself and say No.