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Learn To Say No

For people pleasers who just can’t say no to anyone

It’s the easiest two-letter word but at times, the hardest to utter. Do you ever feel like it’s too difficult to say no in certain situations? Have you ever wondered why that is?

There could be many reasons behind it – you’re trying to be polite, you’re too afraid to say no, or in many cases, you don’t want to let someone  down.

In the process, however, you tend to outweigh your choices and priorities.

Do You Say No To No?

Saying no is especially tough when the person asking is important to you, or seemingly important.

Your friends ask you to join them for drinks but you’re trying to save up. You still go ahead and meet them because you can’t get yourself to say no.

Your boss assigns work to you over the weekend and you compromise on family time – again – because you couldn’t say no.

You often over-analyse it and say things like, “How could I refuse? It’s not so easy. I had to agree.” If this sounds like you, consider this: a simple no could have saved you so much anxiety and restlessness.

What’s worse is an indirect no. Do you find yourself running away from a situation instead of just saying no?

When someone asks for a favour, you ignore their calls and texts instead of firmly saying you can’t help. Basically, you keep the other person waiting and hoping you’ll say yes. It’s a waste of time – for everyone involved.

Finally, there are people pleasers: those who think it’s their duty to please everyone. So they always oblige, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable the case.

Take a Stand

Understand and accept that you can’t please everyone. Once you do, even the ‘asker’ will understand that your refusal has a reason behind it.

But first you must learn to take a stand – be honest with yourself and say no to a person, an event, or a situation. Formality won’t land you anywhere.

Secondly, be honest with the person in question. Go ahead and explain yourself if you must.

For instance, if you’re not in the mood to catch up with a friend, saying no instead of making up a lie (bad health, too much work etc) is so much easier, right?

Or in more serious cases, if your parents are insisting you get married but you’re not ready, tell them exactly that. It won’t be easy, but at least you won’t have to compromise on your choices and beliefs.

Another thing to keep in mind – don’t ignore the situation, no matter how big or small. The word needs to be said then and there.

We’ve seen far too many people being afraid and unsure of taking a stand, and later regretting it. It messes with your peace of mind.

Be it your personal or professional life, you need to be real and let the other person know your intentions. Turning someone or something down doesn’t make you look bad, rather, it makes you come across as an assured, reliable person.

So next time, don’t beat around the bush. Try a plain, simple no.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar




A wife, a mother and a blogger and has gradually managed to handle all three together (though not without coffee). Shilpa is keen on pursuing her lost dream of becoming a writer. She likes to eat and wants to reduce at the same time.

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