How to get better at saying NO


‘NO’ is such a small word, easy to learn, yet most difficult to say. For so many years of my life, I stayed exhausted and overwhelmed. Why? Because it was very difficult for me to say no. I felt frustrated over this situation but in the end I always caught myself in the same vicious cycle and ended up saying yes to everyone.

Do you feel the same? So many of us, including you and me, face a hard time saying no. The reason is that you grew up hearing saying no is wrong and unacceptable. Due to which you are bound to say yes to so many requests no matter how inconvenient you feel.

You are an employee; you have to say yes to your boss even you can’t handle the task. A business owner has to say yes to clients besides the risk to his earning potential. A friend has to say yes to a friend for an assignment even though he barely manages his own.

This mentality of always saying yes leads to burnout and frustration. Sometimes saying no is the best way out. But you still hesitate to say no. Why so? Because you fear letting people down. There are inbuilt beliefs that keep you from saying this word out loud.

Why is it so hard to say no?


Even though saying no is the best idea but still many of us fail to do so. Here are some common beliefs that lead you to say yes.

  • You are told to grab every opportunity that comes your way. If you say no, you are wasting an opportunity.
  • You are told to put others ahead of yourself. And saying no is selfish that you should avoid.
  • Since you are in the position to help someone, you should.
  • If you made a commitment, fulfill it no matter how you feel.

How to master the art of saying no?


Even though you have good intentions, saying no can be a trouble thought pattern. Let me share a few steps, following which you can master the art of saying no.

Find the trouble cause:

First, find out the reason that is troubling you while saying no. Whether it is the sense of insecurity or fear of losing someone. Or is it simply the fear of becoming a bad person after you say no.

Evaluate the validity of the cause

Once you have identified the cause that is troubling you, it’s time to evaluate it’s validity. Ask yourself, will I really become a bad person if I say no? Will I lose the person or his/her trust? Ask yourself, If I say no what difference will it make?

Create an alternative statement

Now it’s time to replace the old statement that is making you worried. For example, Instead of saying, “If I say no, I will become the bad person or they will cease respecting me”. You can say that “by saying no I am putting myself first so I can dedicate my energy to something that I really want to do.”

When it is better to say no?


It sounds very easy but I know how difficult it can be. Even the strongest persons are pushed to say yes when they actually want to say the opposite. However, that one act of tenacity will prevent you from feeling of regret and resentment later on. Therefore, it’s better to learn to say no in certain situations such as;

When saying yes gives you no advantage

It is better to say no when the situation only wastes your time and energy instead of conferring any benefit to you whether it is financial or emotional.

When saying no brings greater benefit

Sometimes you might be confused between yes and no because both have some advantages. But let’s focus on the one that is in your best interest.

When you have an internal negative feeling

Your body speaks the truth. So whenever you are about to say yes but feel a negative gut reaction, it’s time to say no. Instead of creating an imbalance, it’s better to respect your inner feelings.

When the task is out of your league

Instead of doing a bad job because you got no skills for the task, it is better to play safe and say no. You can recommend someone else who is better at the job.

Wrapping up the thoughts

If you are a habitual “yes person”, it will take some time to learn the art of saying no. But trust me this is what you need to do to exist in peace. Let me know if you found the blog helpful and whether you are considering becoming a “no-person” instead of saying yes.







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