Have you ever said “no” to something that someone asked you to do and then felt guilty immediately afterwards? That used to be me, but I have started to learn the power of “no” and that I do not need to attach guilty feelings to it. I do this by asking myself why I am feeling guilty. If I realize that the person’s request is out of my control or something that I am unable to do, then there is no reason to feel guilty. If I were to say “yes” to every request, I would feel spread too thin, burnt out, and overwhelmed.
Helping others is my job. I run a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those who are struggling to make ends meet. Oftentimes, the initial stages of planning our next event start before the previous event even arrives.
At first, we think that saying “no” is a bad thing.
We justify our desire to say “yes” by thinking back to when we’ve done it before and survived. We believe that maybe, we should not be selfish and should just offer a hand to this person. Yet, there is incredible power behind saying “no.” There’s tremendous power behind standing up for yourself. Saying no may open the opportunity for us to do things we have been looking forward to. That’s not selfish; that’s an important part of self-care.
If someone is constantly asking you for help, believe it or not, when you say “no,” you may actually be helping them. If you are their go-to helper, saying “no” may force them to look into alternative resources. It may challenge them to be self-sufficient and empower them to believe they can get through their problems on their own.
Since our youth, adults have taught us to always be agreeable, which is why I feel so many people tie guilt to saying “no.” However, when we are older, we learn that we have to care for ourselves before we can care for others.
This is where saying “no” can be beneficial, not only for you, but also for those who are on the receiving end of your “no.”
Being a little “selfish” and carving out time for things you would like or need to do for yourself will promote happiness and overall well-being, therefore making your interactions more pleasurable. Realizing the power of “no” versus the guilt that can come with it can change your whole dynamic. I encourage you to take this bold step and try embracing the power of “no” today.