Saying ‘no’ can be very difficult in some situations; even so difficult that some of us would rather say yes even if we don’t mean to. Naturally, this leads to decisions that we regret later. There are many different scenarios where this could happen, such as when you are dealing with peer pressure, or when someone asks you for an unrealistic favor. Nonetheless, in (almost) all cases there is a way out by saying no. So how do you say no when you are not so good at it?
A difficult situation is a situation where saying no is your preference, but it would also make you feel uncomfortable.
How to say no?
First of all, if you are really bad at saying no, the best way to combat difficult situations is to minimize them as much as you can. For example, if you do not want to drink alcohol but feel uncomfortable saying no to alcohol when it is offered to you, then limit or avoid occasions where there is alcohol. That way you can avoid situations you do not want to be in before they actually happen.
Obviously, there are difficult situations that you cannot avoid and those are not easy to deal with, but you can deal with them. The most important thing to remember is that no = no, and you do not have to give a reason behind it. “No” is enough. Even if they ask you why, saying “just because” is enough. You do not owe anyone an explanation for saying no to something you do not want to do or say. And with this, I do not mean washing the dishes or cleaning up your clothes. 😉
The most difficult part about these situations is that not always a question is asked to which you can say no to. Sometimes, unfortunately, it is implied that you agree to something. However, even when no question is asked, you can and should say no. When you are thinking to yourself “No, I do not want to do this” or “No, I do not want to say this” then it is time to say “No, I will not do this” or “No, I will not say this.”
In difficult situations, we often try to persuade ourselves into saying yes, because we do not want to make ourselves uncomfortable by saying no. However, no reason is ever good enough to make yourself go against your own will. The best way to recognize that you are persuading yourself is when you start making excuses in your head. If you really wanted to do or say something, you would have done it without questioning yourself. Examples are:
- Why am I making such a big deal out of it? It is not that big of a deal. (Actually, yes it is.)
- Well, why shouldn’t I? (Because you do not really want to do it.)
- If I just get it over with, it will be fine. (No, it will not be fine.)
- I will probably not regret it. (Yes, you will.)
The bottom line
Just remember, it is way better to be uncomfortable for 5 seconds while you say ‘no’ than to regret a decision for possibly years. You can say ‘no’ when you do not want to do or say something, and you do not have to give a reason for it. Your happiness is what counts in your life and doing something you do not want to do will not make you happy. What others may think about you is not important, because if they do not accept your decision to say no, then they should not be your friends anyway! 🙂