Why Can't You Say No?

Why is it so hard to tell people No?

I was looking at a morning TV show, and one of its hosts admitted that she could not say No to people because she feels as though she is letting them down. Why is it so hard to tell people No?

When people were asked why they did not like saying No, they said they feel as though people would view them as not caring; No would hurt feelings, could trigger a confrontation, or our parents would frown upon our being so impolite. Is the inability to say No a type of universal need to be included? People who are unable to use the word No, or get a headache at the thought of mentioning No are afraid of being rejected.

People who can’t tolerate disappointment or grievance are unable to formulate the word No and its possible adverse effects. But would you believe that saying No is healthier for you and the people around you? Often how we perceive people hear No from us is just that, a false perception. Our saying No in a friendly manner is also how we can get family, friends, or co-workers to say Yes! When we choose what is best for us, and No is not a personal event, we take control. If you don’t occasionally say No, in a polite fashion, then you are giving the people around you control over your time and your life.

There is a little trick to using the word No, because this word lends itself to justifying why you are saying No. When we say No and then begin making up the reason why, which often is not true, then you have opened the door for people to ask “why not?” There is that power play by the other person and a typical response by them is to help you find a way around your No and wear you down with reasons why you should say yes, forcing you to do eventually give in – they took power over your decision-making!

It is much harder to say No to close friends or close family members. Your friends and family pretty much know all there is to know about you, therefore, when you turn them down for something, you’ve heard them say, ‘oh come on I know that you have nothing going on right now.’ Why can’t you just say No without being made to feel guilty? Could it be that you have just found out that your family and friends are a bit ‘pushy?’

To interject here on why saying ‘yes’ consistently is also not healthy. In our psyche, we don’t want to divorce the people around us, but we can’t keep being the yes man either. By saying yes, all the time will render a deep-seated emotion of resentment, but it will manifest itself sooner or later and generally at an inconvenient time and in harsh terms – which of course is not like you at all! A combination of yes and no in your vocabulary is by far a mentally, spiritually, physically, and economically a better mix.

The inability to use No occasionally is also opening the door to scammers, bad relationships, harmful relationships, and dangerous perpetrators entering our lives to take control. Saying no, in these instances can help save your life and keep you out of danger. Many young teens contacting the wrong people online because they are looking for attention and saying No could further alienate them. Also, using mobile devices or computers takes away our face-to-face interactions, and it is easier to form unreliable friendships and negative cognitive relationships. However, we know how evil uses tricks to cause you harm eventually.

Women and men are told to just say No in specific instances that is prevalent in the news today, but instead, you get threatened with physical or emotional damage. Thus you give in or pretend that it didn’t happen. Keeping control over your life is not always easy, but saying yes or giving in is a form of a yes, only present problems and stress. If someone says that you must do this or else – think! How difficult would it be to perform that act rather than to say No – I have the power – not you.

Saying No may raise the question of whether your persona is a selfish one. Can you contribute to your family with a No, can you expect the respect of co-workers if you say No, will your child hate you forever if you say No, will a panhandler spit on you if you say No? Your inner self will have its doubts, but this is not always a factual reality. No can be disguised as a future yes that benefits you and the people around you.

Your No can be quantified with the inability to act now, but by saying if you give me more time, I can be of assistance at a later date. It’s how you say No! When you say No thank you because I can’t right now, it signals that you care, there is a potential future, yes and there are no adverse rejections. Just remember if you are heading toward a No response, think of it as needing more time, and that’s what you say.

After you have lived life and you care less about being vulnerable, this is your No time, and you don’t care! As you age, your No becomes more efficient, and at times your No reflects leadership without any regrets. Remember, learn to say no intermittently and be politely firm. But just don’t start with a prevaricating No because it will not end well, plus you will forget what untruism you have weaved. You don’t need to explain anything – you own your affinity.