Learning to Say No!

Learning To Say No As Part Of Better Self-Care

Say No…there are too many nice people in the world today or so it might seem, with the number of yes folks you run into on a daily basis. However, what about the lesser heard evil sibling, the word NO?


As a child, you were raised to be considerate to others. You’re supposed to accommodate them as much as possible.

How do you know exactly when enough is enough? And more importantly, are you saying no to yourself by saying yes to others every time? Chances are that is exactly what you are doing, even if only subliminally.

Wondering when is the time for you to use your no’s successfully? We’ve got you covered!

Piling On Stress

Not being able to say no can greatly contribute to high stress and real quick! Doing too much feelings of overwhelm cause and add to chronic stress, and people who can not say no are usually the first to fall victim.

It is important to understand your own boundaries and limitations, and while helping others is important, you have to take care of yourself.

This means sometimes saying no to friends and family, in order to maintain an optimal level of health and wellness for yourself.

Feelings Of Obligation

This is by far the most common cause of animosity between individuals.  We’re basically forced to say yes whether or not we want to. Maybe the person asking did a major favor for you in life, maybe it is a family member.

You feel a sense of obligation to always be on beck and call for whatever that person requests of you, but you need to ask yourself when is my bill paid in full? – will you continue to feel a forced sense of obligation forever?

This constant obligatory situation builds resentment, and resentment can literally make you physically ill!

You need to let them know you have to put yourself first, by doing what you need to do. If an issue arises, it may be best to sever ties and remove a toxic person from your life.

Weekday Partying

We sincerely hope you are not one of those weekday party animals! Though we fully understand the need to unwind after a tiring week’s work, there is absolutely no justification for staying out late and drinking on a weekday when you have responsibilities to meet the next morning! It is more than likely the result of friends asking or guilting you out even though you’re better sense says no.

You’re not doing yourself any favors as you will be tired the following day. Perhaps even hungover and miserable. Saying yes to that, is saying no to your well-being.

Enabling Bad Behavior

It has happened to all of us before, from a kid asking for something, hearing no and slowly breaking you down, to much worse influences on your life.

From friends begging you to help them get to the airport, to unnecessary spending, while it may seem ok or insignificant at the time, it enables bad behavior and disrespect over the long haul.

It needs to stay that way when you say no. You will gain infinite respect for having unbendable beliefs. You’ll be looked at as a pillar of strength.

Not Speaking Up

There have undoubtedly been numerous times when you sit quietly while something (or someone) boils your blood to the point of an eruption, yet you show no outward emotions. This can range from a boss berating you in the office, a bully, or a random stranger who finds it appropriate to assert their dominance over you.

By allowing it, you are doing just that, rolling over and assuming the fetal position. Open your mouth, demand your respect and speak for what you believe in.


We live under the illusion that things must be ok all the time. You need to look after yourself before you look after anyone else after all, lead by example!


Just as I was completing the final edits of this article I was put to the test. You see, I have trouble saying no as well. I was completing the banner (the last thing I do before I publish) when I got a message. A friend asked me if I could do something for them. I normal would have simply said yes. Then made the necessary adjustments to my schedule (insert burning a few more hours after midnight). Not this time! I explained that I had work that needed to be done. I had clients that were counting on me to do my job. The victory…I felt empowered, not guilty.

If I can help you learn to say no please contact me here. To schedule an appointment.

Written by
Eric is the Chief Strategist and Creative Thinking Coach at EricSaid. He applies the principles of success to help business owners to achieve their fullest potential.

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