The Pursuit of Saying ‘No’


Sometimes…No, well most of the times I can brag about being ‘too busy’, because a sense of dread fills me every time I approach the word No. I often end up saying- ‘Ofcourse! Why not?’ or ‘Yes, definitely I can!’ even before my brain comprehends the entire situation only to regret it moments later. I have got this constant drive to please people. And saying No would mean rejecting the other person and hurting their sentiments. All this to save my skin from the short lived pain of embarrassment and guilt and to end up in bitterness and displeasure. And a part of this to rescue myself from the uncertainty of what other person’s response would be.

This doesn’t end here because after I have already agreed, I am overloaded with other people’s request and find myself in angst and frustration. Accommodating such requests leads to grudges for keeping me occupied and threatens my relationships in long run. But when it is a person I am closely connected with, I come in full power to say No (most often aggressively), taking the person for granted. And sometimes, I just find avoiding easier because either ways, I put myself in the zone of discomfort, being my major source of burnout.

I am sure I am not alone who chokes up while saying this simple two letter word. But how long can we be disguised by what matters us the most or risk our mental health or choose others over ourselves?

Most of the times we stretch too thin to an extent, where we are exhausted and not good enough for anyone. Understanding this would persuade us to simply decline without beating around the bush. This would call for prioritizing to keep up the productivity within our bandwidth.

Saying Yes is pretty pleasing but it gets ugly when you aren’t able to meet your own needs. Cliché but true, we have limited time and energy and using the finite resources to pursue our own passions is no shame neither being honest and authentic.

How many times did you say yes to a wedding, a party or a favor of some kind when you were dying to say no just to save the relationship? But, how solid is a relationship if it can’t withstand a No? What is more important honoring a commitment of a pretentious relationship or your own feelings and wellbeing? And ideally it should be perfectly okay to think and respond rather than just blurting Yes, to buy some time to ask yourself if you really want to do it.

Susan Newman, Ph.D., a social psychologist and the author of The Book of No said “Most people have completely forgotten about your answer and have moved on to ask someone else.” And that should deactivate the guilt after declining. Learning to say no, just simplifies our life.

I am all set and convinced to practice the art of saying No. This entire process will definitely take some time to soak in but the temptation of what all I can do if I said No is rewarding to continue the pursuit.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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