5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Say No

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something you wished that you’d said ‘no’ to instead? Chances are you’ve done that not just once, but several times in your life, and likely regretted it every time. Why is it so terribly hard to say ‘no’ when deep down you know that it’s the right thing to do?

As it turns out, a lot of those answers come from the past and our upbringing. Thankfully, it’s never too late to rewrite the past. Let’s take a look at several reasons people so ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no.’

1. “If I say no, I’m weak.” Far from being weak when you say ‘no’ you’re showing a great deal of strength. It takes someone with confidence, and the ability to look out for their own mental and physical health to put their foot down.

2. “I don’t want to let anyone down.” Believe it or not, when most people ask for a favor, they are already expecting the person they’re asking to say ‘no.’ They meet that refusal with a shrug and a determination to try someone else. People aren’t as invested as you think. The only person you’re letting down here is yourself if you say ‘yes’ when you don’t want to.

3. “I’ll be seen as difficult to work with.” Again this is where your perception of the situation is off. People will see you as being difficult to work with if you’re …difficult. So long as you’re not belligerent, angry, or abusive when you say ‘no,’ no one is going to think anything at all. Keep in mind that there are other ways you can still contribute and be part of the team without saying ‘yes’ to every little thing asked of you.

4. “I want to prove my worth.” Poor self-esteem drives this statement. Frequently we set out to prove ourselves by becoming indispensable. Unfortunately, all that it shows when you say ‘yes’ to everything is that people can easily take advantage of you. No one thinks highly of someone who says ‘yes’ all the time.

5. “If I say ‘no,’ I’m selfish.” This one comes straight out of childhood where we are taught to be agreeable from the time we’re small. In reality, it’s very healthy to put your own needs first. After all, how can you take care of anyone else, if you’ve compromised not only our time but your energy and quite possibly your health to take care of everyone else first?

There are many more excuses for saying ‘yes.’ What you need to realize is that whenever you feel put out, angry, or resentful about doing something, a ‘yes’ in that situation is just that – an excuse. That’s where you need to examine your motives, and then ask yourself – is that truly the person you want to be? Chances are, it’s time for a change.

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