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Put Yourself First

Sometimes saying no means protecting your own well-being.

It's only two letters, but the word no can have a significant impact on your relationships and with yourself. Too much no and you can isolate yourself, developing a negative persona, and miss opportunities. Too little no and you'll likely over-schedule yourself and create stress. Learning the balance between yes and no is essential, being able to see both the positive and negatives of saying no.

You may not even realize it, but you may be putting the desires of others above yours. This is not necessarily a bad thing since it shows empathy and harmony. Being a person who cares about the well-being of others is incredible, but have you ever tried to do what you like? Say no to what's wrong for you? Learning to deny certain things demonstrates emotional maturity and self-love. If you find it difficult to say no to others, check out these tips:

  • You do not have to be a harsh person. Speak gently and directly. There is nothing wrong with not accepting something and you do not need to ask for permission to do so.

  • Denial does not mean rejection. Just because you did not accept someone's request does not mean that you reject the person or are driving them out of your life. It's not about them, it's about you. It's important to keep this in mind to avoid creating conflict and guilt.

  • Stop trying to please others. We often think that people are judging us, when in fact they are not even paying attention. Also, what does the approval of another human being change in your life? Nothing, so please yourself. Do what you like, be surrounded by people you admire, always look for those with good energy.

  • Set priorities. It's great to think about others and to want to practice good. But it's also not healthy to compromise your schedule of commitments to satisfy other people.

It can be difficult to say no. Many of us were taught to be nice and always say yes. Learning how to decline an invitation or request without feeling guilty is an essential aspect of living a happy life.

5 Reasons To Say No


1. No Means Yes

  • When you say no to one thing, you’re saying yes to something else. No means opening up your time to engage with other, possibly more positive, activities. If you feel rude for turning someone down, reframe your response, offering to do something another time that you want to do.

2. Know What You Want

  • Instead of responding immediately to a question or a request, take a moment to ask yourself, "What do I really want?" Sometimes, we must do things we don’t want to do but if you're constantly saying yes when you don't want to, it's time to consider your own needs. Listen to yourself to know what is best for you.

3. Value Your Time

  • Saying no is the best tool you have for distancing yourself from negative people or situations. Remind yourself how valuable your time is, and you’re less likely to hesitate when it comes to saying no to something you really don’t want to do. Saying no requires a strong sense of self, but in the end, it will reinforce your emotional well-being.

4. Brave Act

  • No can be hard to say without creating an excuse or including an explanation. The common response, “I’ll have to think about it…” or “I’m not sure, maybe…” are phrases that don't only confuse others, but also minimize your own certainty about what you want. Practice saying no without an excuse or explanation. Be brave and honor your self-respect.

5. Stand Your Ground

  • Some people don't like to take no for an answer. They’ll beg you, tempt you, and come up with all sorts of imaginative ways to get you to say yes. When encountering these situations, stand your ground and repeat your initial response. If you feel yourself giving in, remember the reasons you chose to say no and consider how good you’ll feel if you remain true to yourself. You’ll see this strength carry over to other areas of your life as well.


So, What Do You Think?

Can you start putting these tips into practice? You can continue to be nice and friendly even when you say no. Do not accept embarrassing situations, toxic environments or people who do not add value to your life.

The more you master the art of saying no when necessary, the easier it becomes to fill your life with activities and people who bring you true happiness. If you find yourself defaulting to yes more than you’d like, or you struggle with sticking to no once you’ve said it, come back to these five points and remind yourself of the positive power of no.

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