The Importance of Saying No
In today’s society, people are constantly being told to say yes more often and to embrace every opportunity that life throws at them. In fact, there is even a popular book and a movie made from the book, called Yes Man, which is all about saying yes to things and living life more fully as a result.
You’ve probably heard of the movie, and maybe even seen it. Jim Carrey stars in the movie and acts as a person who signs up for a program where he says yes to every situation in life. The movie shows him living life to its fullest and having a great time doing so.
While this is a very nice idea, in theory, it is a practice that can be very counterproductive and even destructive. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you balance your yes’s and no’s.
The Problem With Always Saying Yes
In movies like Yes Man, the main character finds himself accepting all kinds of exciting opportunities; going on adventures, meeting new people, learning new skills, et cetera. That would be nice, but in reality, it’s often not how these things pan out. Sooner or later you would become very overwhelmed with the notion of having to fulfill another obligation.
If you were always saying yes to every single person who asked you to do something you would never get anything done yourself. You would be constantly doing everything that everyone else wants. This is no way to live. You need to do things that make you happy, living for yourself and not always living your life to please other people.
In addition, saying yes all of the time could get out of hand really quickly. For example, if you begin saying yes to committing crimes, or to drinking and driving. “Sure, I’ll have one more and then hit the road.” Bad idea.
If you continually say yes, then you are living your life to please other people. In addition, you could be setting yourself up for some pretty bad situations. Remember peer pressure? Not good.
Yes Means No
Another problem with saying yes to something is that you are saying no to something else. You have actively agreed to do something and have passively declined to do something else. For example, when you actively say yes to helping your neighbor fix his deck, you have passively said no to fixing your own deck.
You have given up your time and energy to do something other than the thing that you should have been doing. Yes, it is good to help others, however, it is not good to help others when you are not in a good state yourself.
Have you ever flown on an airplane? What do the flight attendants say about the oxygen masks? Be sure to secure your own mask before helping someone else. Why do you think it is that they want you to secure your mask before helping another person, even your own child? It is because you won’t be much help to someone else if you can’t breathe yourself!
Take a lesson from this! It is very important to make you all of your ducks are in a row before you help someone else get their ducks in a row.
The results of saying yes all of the time can be good in some instances. Sure, you may get out of your comfort zone once in a while. However, you need to be careful about the situation so that you stay out of trouble. In addition, saying yes can be very mentally and physically exhausting. Do you really have time to help your neighbor work on his deck when yours is falling apart? Therefore, make an effort to say no once in a while.
Power Of No
The word no is as powerful as the word yes. Saying no can be a great thing because it means that you have freed up some time to do whatever it is you need to do instead of what you were being asked to do. Saying no allows you to keep your freedom and to continue living for yourself. Remember that it is your life, and you can live it how you want to live it, within reason of course.
One of the problems that people have when saying no is that they lack the confidence to back up the word. When you say no you must mean it. Stand firm and don’t be swayed. In today’s society, people believe that no really means yes and that people are simply too shy or afraid to say yes.
That is why people are constantly pushing for an answer even though the word no has already been said. In addition, many people can’t stand the pressure so they give in and eventually say yes. Unfortunately, this reinforces the notion that no is really a cover for yes.
Another problem with the confidence behind no is that people always question why. For example, when someone asks you to go out or to help with something and you say you can’t, they ask why. Then you are stumbling around for an excuse that sounds good enough so that they will be appeased and quit asking you to do something that you don’t want to do.
What you need to realize is that it doesn’t make any difference why. You said no and that is all that matters. They can take a hike. Stand behind your word. If someone asks you to do something and you don’t want to do it then say no.
When they ask why you don’t need to give them an answer. Simply reply with because I said no, or because I choose not to. If they don’t like it then that is their problem, not yours.
Of course, you need to make sure you aren’t being a jerk about it. You need to remember to be kind and courteous. But you also need to have a backbone. Don’t let other people push you around or sway your decisions. When you give your word of yes or no then stand behind it. You will find that people will show you a lot more respect than if you sway back and forth like a branch in the wind.
It’s Not Easy
Now, I’m not going to pretend that this is all really easy.
No, it can be difficult at times.
Especially, when you are saying no to your children. Or when you are saying no to a potentially fun or pleasurable experience. In addition, you may feel that you are letting other people down if you say no. However, that point of view must change. After all, has anyone ever said no to you? Of course they have!
Therefore, while there are some situations where saying yes is the kind and helpful thing to do, you are in no way obligated to always say yes. What’s more is that you shouldn’t find yourself feeling guilty for saying no.
The secret is simply to make sure that you know what your priorities are and that you have a reason to say no. In other words, you shouldn’t say no to someone who you really should be saying yes to. Let me explain.
Basically, if a parent, or elder, asks you to do something, then you should do it because you are to do it out of respect. In addition, when your boss asks you to do something, you should do it out of respect, even if you don’t really feel like doing it.
You need to make sure that your priorities are in the right order. Say yes to things that are right and true and say no to things that are wrong and false. For anything else, simply say how you feel. If you feel like doing such and such, then say yes. If you don’t feel like doing it, then say no. Remember that you don’t need to satisfy or impress anyone but yourself.