There’s a lot to be said about embracing the concept of “Yes.” Sometimes, saying “Yes” will open you up to new opportunities, or new experiences, you never envisioned before.
It can also introduce you to people and possibilities that were otherwise left off your radar. Saying “Yes” tends to get the most attention., paradoxically, there’s also
However, there’s also a lot of power to be gained from just saying “No.” We’ve all been in that situation when saying yes seemed like the easier, if not optimal, route. Maybe a needy friend asked for a favor in a long string of favors.
Or maybe your boss asked you do something that was well past what was expected. Or maybe your teenager asked for something that you weren’t immediately comfortable giving.
When these situations came up, your gut feeling was to say no, but you took the easier route and said “Yes.” Just remember, you should always spin toward the negative and Just Say No.
Strange as it seems, there are a lot of positive things that can happen when you start using “No” as a definitive statement.
And introducing this response into your vocabulary when it’s called for has many more benefits than just escaping a situation or set of circumstances that you would rather avoid.
From passing on that big piece of chocolate cake when everyone else at the party is indulging, to setting limits for your kids that will lead to better long-term consequences and value systems, the art of the “no” has a lot more to offer than just the immediate great feeling you get when you follow your best judgement.
The problem with “Yes Men” is that people will take notice, and then they’ll take advantage.
If you’re the person who always picks up the slack, or who always does a favor no matter how inconvenient, then you’re also dangerously close to being known as a doormat.
On the other end of the spectrum, saying “Yes” to things that provide instant gratification for just yourself, and do nothing for your long-term goals, can set you on a dangerous course as well.
It’s easy to rationalize a morning of sleeping in instead of going to work early, or fudging on a diet by caving into a dessert or two, but down the road, an initial “yes” will lead to more “yeses,” and will make it harder, ultimately, to say No.
Saying no to something and following your better judgment allows you to keep control over your life. It allows you not to be persuaded into other directions by others, your whims or your less-disciplined instincts.
Keep the people and goals that matter in perspective, and say no to any situation that does not align with becoming the best version of you that you can be.
If you say yes to everything, then it’s impossible to weed out what’s important, and what’s just white noise, in both your professional and personal life.
For example, let’s say that you’re flooded with a dozen invitations for parties or gatherings in the summer months.
And let’s say that there are only a handful of invitations where it’s economically feasible for you to attend, and where you know you’ll have a good time.
By saying no when it doesn’t suit your best interests, you’ll gradually discover what’s important to you.
Then, you can build relationships and goals based on your interests and based on who’s genuinely important in your life and not on what the crowd of acquaintances demand.
There’s something inherently powerful about just saying no without the excuses, or any white lies or any explanations.
Because by simply saying “no” to an above-and-beyond favor, an instant gratification instinct, or an unreasonable request, you’re conveying that your time is valuable, your willpower is spot on, and your judgment is sound.
Consider a request from the boss to stay well after-hours for a personal task, a nudging of friends to have just one more drink or a request from your teenager to borrow the car for a late-night party.
When you say “no,” not only do you assert your control, but you’re also making the internal realization that your opinion matters and your values are justified and intact.
So say yes when it’s appropriate. Good relationships with loved ones always need to be fostered and require a little give and take.
But never be afraid to say no when it’s warranted. “No” represents a clear choice, a self-awareness and a solid character, and is underestimated as a valuable tool for moving forward.
How have you learned to say “No” in the past? Let us know in the comments section below!