WHEN TO SAY NO

You can’t say yes all the time.

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Having respect for yourself, your time, and your resources means you need to know when to say no, and how to say it. When you learn to say no, you actually free yourself from the need to please everybody all the time. Learning when to say no gives you the power to protect your priorities in life, without having to feel selfish.

Have you ever said yes to requests that cost you time with your family, time resting and relaxing, or even work hours? While this is okay for some specific occasions, such as a family emergency, or a friend in need, if you do this all the time, you’ll end up overwhelmed, as you try to deal with other people’s problems.

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Why do you find it hard to say no?

For starters, you might genuinely want to help others; you might be afraid of being rude; you might also fear conflict, or worry that not being able to help out will cause people to resent you. If you agree for these reasons, and even cringe at the thought of these things happening, you need to understand that saying no doesn’t mean you’re rude, it doesn’t mean there will be conflict, and it doesn’t meant that you’re being disagreeable. Here are some important reasons why you should say no more often.

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You have goals in life too; when you say yes all the time, you won’t be able to concentrate on the important things in your life.

Ultimately, you need to protect what’s important to you. You need to prioritise, and accept that addressing another person’s request is not always as important as achieving your own goals. If you concentrate on going after the things that will make you happy, you will be in a better position to help others.

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Do you notice that it’s usually the same person who asks for your help?

Often, people ask for help before they even attempt to help themselves. When you can identify these kinds of people, you will know whom you should say no to, for the sake of helping them become more self-sufficient. The more you say no to a dependent person, the more they can grow, and stretch themselves towards meeting their own potential.

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Sometimes, you may say yes, even to tasks you don’t want to do, just for the sake of being agreeable.

When you do this, the quality of the help you provide will suffer. Only say yes to things you can do well, and things you actually want to do.

When you say yes too often, you will end up exhausted; it’s tiring to address other people’s problems all the time. If you become exhausted, you won’t have enough time and energy to take care of your own needs.

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Why do you have a hard time saying no?

The simple act of refusing someone might be uncomfortable for you, but you need to understand the root of this emotion; does it stem from a need to please people all the time? Does it come from a desire to avoid conflict? When you recognise where this feeling originates, you can begin to work on addressing those insecurities.

At the end of the day, saying yes all the time will hurt you. When you spend all your time and energy on other people, saving nearly no time for yourself, you’ll end up tired, frustrated, and unhappy. You need to protect your personal time, and learn how to say no.

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