Saying yes comes easy and natural, but saying no is a whole different story. Why do most of us have difficulty mastering the art of saying no?
There’s this art that many people don’t think about – the art of saying no. It took me a while to discover it and even more to start practising it. Now I’m in a place where I appreciate all the benefits of saying no to certain things and people. It’s still a work in progress, but I now know and understand the importance of being able to say no and to not feel guilty about it.
“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” — Tony Blair
I feel that women have bigger issues with this subject. We are raised to be caretakers and we often end up being people-pleasers. We end up saying yes to things that we don’t want to do or don’t have the time to do. That’s why practising the art of saying no is very important, as it will change your view on life and yourself. You will learn to respect yourself and your time and to plan your life in a way that works best for you. You will also discover that people won’t hate you if you say that you’re too busy to help them with their project, or that you can’t make it to that event as you already have your weekend planned. And even if they do end up hating you a bit, who cares? A mature person will understand and respect your decisions.
Learning how to say no doesn’t come guilt-free. Still, getting rid of the sense of guilt is also an important issue to work on and it will get better with practice. Just understand that there’s nothing wrong with having your priorities straight. By kindly saying no to certain things you don’t disrespect others, but you respect yourself. And ultimately, you’re the first person you need to respect. If you don’t respect you, how can you expect the others do it?