Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person.
Whether it comes from feeling guilty or from our need to constantly please people, saying YES when we actually mean NO causes a serious string of emotional states that are bad for our health.
Let’s say somebody invited you to a party you have no desire of going to. Instead of saying no, you end up saying yes, and that is where the frustration starts: first of all, you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, then, you get angry at yourself for not respecting your own boundaries and desires, and you most probably end up transferring that anger to the person who invited you to the party and almost certainly your bad mood will ruin the party for you.
Why do we say yes when we mean no?
There are a few reasons why we say yes: out the fear that we might hurt somebody, out of the belief or worry that we are a bad person if we say no, and out of our desire to please others; but they all come down to our need to be liked, loved, and accepted, which we won’t be if we hurt or displease somebody.
Unfortunately, there is one person that we will most certainly hurt every time we say yes when we mean no – ourselves.
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person
No is just as good as yes. These two little words exist to be used and neither of them is good or bad. Every time we say yes to something we are saying no to something else. Life is full of choices and it is an inevitable part of everyday living that we have to decline some things and accept others.
In our interaction with other humans, YES and NO are like bordering stones – they show others where our boundaries are, how much we can and cannot do. It has nothing to do with being a good or a bad person. If you know you can’t lift a load that weighs a ton and you don’t find it hard to say NO if somebody asks you to lift it, the same reasoning applies to any other request. Saying NO doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it shows where your limits are.
First, step in learning to say NO is to disassociate this word from any bad connotation. Today NO stands for “I reached my limits”: of comfort, strength, emotional, financial, or whatever that NO referrers to. So please dismiss the feeling of guilt for saying NO.
Always keep in mind that by going beyond your limits you are most certainly hurting yourself and only maybe helping somebody else.
If you don’t say NO now, the requests are going to keep coming. You have to start respecting your feelings and capabilities.
Saying NO will make you feel better: you will let go of that silent grudge against the requestor, for finally, you don’t have to do the things you don’t want to; you will respect yourself more, you will be the master of your time, your wallet, and your choices.
By saying NO you are showing love and respect to both yourself and others as nothing will be done out of the wrong reasons.