How many times have we been asked an uncomfortable request from someone, where we automatically feel the pressure to say yes? Whether it’s a favor you can’t quite do at the moment, or a request that takes time, energy or even money away from you, you’re asked of something and instantly feel the guilt into saying yes. But, for those who don’t fall victim to the guilt trips and who build up enough courage to say no to the situation, right away you feel the urge to explain yourself seconds after you utter the word “no”. I don’t know if it’s out of guilt or if we feel a heightened sense of compassion when rejecting others requests, but explaining yourself every time you say no is not necessary. “No” is a complete sentence, and no further explanation is required.
What people fail to understand is, saying no, is simply you making a conscious decision in not engaging in something you don’t want to, and there is nothing wrong with that. Not everything you are asked of is required of you, and sometimes no is the necessary answer for that specific moment. When we make the decision to say no, we are choosing what's best for us, and we should never apologize for that. By apologizing or making excuses for a decision that is best for you implies that putting yourself first needs further explanation to protect the feelings of others, and that’s complete nonsense.
It’s almost as if we have been conditioned since birth to feel guilty when declining a request. We are constantly putting the feelings and opinions of others before our own, and feel a sense of shame when our decisions goes against the decision of one of our peers; but having a difference of opinion is completely ok. Not everything is for us, and we owe it ourselves to decipher what is and what isn’t, in every aspect of our life.
No, you can’t make it to that baby shower. No, you have to skip happy hour to study. No, you you have to decline that job offer. It is completely okay to say no to the things not meant for us, without explanation.
Saying no to these things opens doors for all the things we can, and should except. It removes toxicity from our lives and builds a greater sense of self-confidence when we learn to listen to our inner voice. In fact, Psychology Today states that learning to say no is also the healthier option when it comes to decision making and our stress levels. According to author and stress management expert, Paul Huljich “saying no is one of the most important ingredients in a life filled with peace of mind and contentment”. He encourages us to listen to that inner voice, and emphasizes that we know ourselves more than anyone else, therefore we know what is best for us.
It’s important that we are making the necessary decisions that make sense to us, and only us. We don’t have to agree to everything, and accepting every request asked of us isn’t mandatory. If the answer is no, let it be no, and say just that, with pride and confidence. Excuses and reasoning are not necessary in our decision making and we should never feel guilty for doing what is best for us.
There is power in the word no, use it wisely.