(Re)Learning to Say No

I thought I knew how to say no. Yet somehow I find myself saying yes when my feelings and instincts tells me I shouldn’t. Gotta (re)learn more to follow my gut feelings. Hmm…

Photo Credit: Wrong by toyib

An Earlier No Saves a Bucket-full of Hassle
You know that you don’t want to do it. Yet for the sake of face or because saying no appears difficult or because you are doubting yourself, you say yes anyway. Only to later be filled with regret, pain and anguish. This is followed by the need for apologies and an even lengthier explanation on why you said yes in the first place.

Just avoid all this hassle in the first place. Just say no when you know that your true answer is no.

Know Why You Say No
As much as possible, know why you are saying no. Is it that you already have other commitments? Are you stretching yourself too thin? Is it that someone has unrealistic expectations of you?

If that is the case, do go ahead and say no. Then try to explain if the person is willing to listen. Else it’s not much lost anyway.

And at the end of the day you don’t know why you are saying no but merely based on a hunch, go with it. Quite often your sub-conscious knows you better than you think you know yourself.

Saying No in a Polite Manner
As a wise man once said, don’t slam doors shut that one day you may need open. Do maintain politeness, basic courtesy and professionalism no matter the circumstances.

If every single time you say no you end up with a broken relationship, then you’re going to be needing to find many more friends in your life πŸ˜‰

No is a Liberator
Enough said πŸ™‚

Have you ever found it difficult to say no?

13 thoughts on “(Re)Learning to Say No

  1. No is most definitely a liberator, Stev. So true. I fall into this trap all the time, too. I guess because I don’t want to hear “no.” But then, I’d rather hear it than be aggravated later when there’s no follow-through.

    As my mother has said, nobody ever died of “no.”

  2. when i was afraid of upsetting someone, i keep saying “yes yes yes sure sure sure understand understand understand” yalo, that’s not i want actually, that’s what others want!
    well, long way for me to learn la. wish u get through that, and hope u wish me too, haha~

  3. it’s true. if you don’t want to do it in the first place, a ‘no’ is better than a ‘yes’ and then realise u really really can’t do it later on… πŸ™‚ i’m ok with the word ‘no’… and the word ‘promise’, it’s better not said if u even have the slightest hesitation in doin something…

  4. it gets even harder esp if the No is between standing up for yourself and getting yourself into trouble. I wish i could say No more often in office ie telling my boss that i dont want to do something in which i know i suck at. it just gets worse when they throw me a new project and they know i’ll get it done fine. if only their faith in me isnt as much as me ‘long piak’ at home when i get stressed out!

    some things we just have to do it. and between wanting to do it. and needing to do it. and rest of the story goes with obligations, relationship yada yada yada.

  5. It’s not easy to say no sometimes. I tried but usually it does not really work out fearing that I may offend the other party.


  6. @wsg: haha. good answer.

    @sandy: agreed on the better earlier than aggravation later. good sharing.
    (although another often quoted saying that no one ever died of hard work turns out to be untrue :P)

    @jem: thanks for the blogpost reply. i do recall reading your post on that too =)

    @bosscat: that works too. most of the time πŸ˜‰ but sometimes i’d rather tell them in polite or impolite words to go to hell πŸ˜›

    @bb: keke. so we might change to change that familiar reaction of ours?

    @baby angel: mmm. yeah. even with the slightest hesitation. we really should show our true skins/colors shouldn’t we. (although sometimes even agreeing with a ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’ becomes taken by the other party as a promise. ouch)

    @chao: hmm. trues as well. although i’m usually quite good at arguing with my bosses when i disagree πŸ˜›

    @kyels: maybe we should focus on not offending our ‘own selves’ more? hmm hmm

  7. All the time, Stev! More so in my profession where my answer should be “can do”, “boleh”, and “consider it done!” (I’m a PA buruk, by the way… hehe)

  8. An interesting aspect to the whole “when I say ‘no’ I feel guilty” biz is the notion that you are entitled to say no simply because you don’t want to. I’m assuming here that we’re in the realm of personal preference here, where it really is a matter of choice. One notion that I find difficult live is that people do not have some right to demand something of me.

  9. @alice: keke. saying no is often even more difficult due to one’s profession. Still i’m sure many alternatives exist πŸ˜‰

    @whatever: assuming that we are still of sane mine, would think that when we feel like saying ‘no’, we do have a reason behind (whether the reason is selfish, trivial, etc is another matter altogether). perhaps it takes time to break a habit & much possible hate as well when people start realizing that you do actually say no to their nice demands?

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