Sunday, Aug 18, 2019 | Last Update : 06:19 PM IST

A simple 'NO' can set you free

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 3, 2019, 3:07 pm IST
Updated : Jun 3, 2019, 3:14 pm IST

Make time for your life for only what is truly important to you.

We could be caught up with others’ requests and demands, and it will leave no time for concentrating on yourself. This could pose a risk to your mental health. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 We could be caught up with others’ requests and demands, and it will leave no time for concentrating on yourself. This could pose a risk to your mental health. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

In today’s day, it has become very fashionable to say that one is ‘busy’ or ‘crazy busy’. It is a stamp of success to say one is busy, as it shows that you are so needed by those around that you that have no time to give yourself. But this could most probably be a result of not knowing how to say no.

Knowing when to say no is important. Most people fear saying it, not knowing that the other person’s reaction will be or in fear of rejection. Pleasing people is ingrained in us and something that we follow from childhood. We are taught to not say no, lest we hurt the other person’s feelings. Even if it something we aren’t comfortable doing it, we rarely refuse to do it.

Thus, it is essential to learn to say no. We could be caught up with others’ requests and demands, and it will leave no time for concentrating on yourself. This could pose a risk to your mental health. The first step is realising how much time you could have saved if you had refused certain things, reported The Guardian. How many weddings you could have skipped, how many forced relations you could have let go of or how many hours you wasted doing something you really didn’t have to.

Many people wonder, what us wrong in being a people pleaser and continuing to say yes. It can result in a harmful habit of manipulation. “It’s the biggest fallacy that ‘I can manipulate you to love me’. We kid ourselves that we’re just being decent people by acquiescing to others, but things can turn unexpectedly sour when our own needs aren’t met,” said Byron Katie, teacher and author.

“When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result: you hate what you are doing, you resent the person who asked you, and you hurt yourself,” said James Altucher, author of ‘The Power of No’. If it breeds resentment and contempt for the person you are saying yes to, then how can it be a healthy habit?

Start claiming time for yourself by thinking before saying yes. Ask yourself ‘does this benefit me in any way?’Learn to recognise when to say yes and no depending upon the signals that your body is sending you. You might feel expansive if you want to say yes and contracting if you want to say no; pay attention to what your body is trying to say. Go with your gut feeling. If you put too much thought into it, you could take the wrong decision.

If you are put in a spot where you cannot blatantly say no to someone, buy yourself some time rather than committing to it immediately. “Ask people to text or email you their request so you can get back to them,” says Vanessa Van Edwards, founder of a human behaviour research lab. It is perfectly okay to say no if you feel like you cannot do it. Asking for more time also allows you to formulate a good response to decline, rather than make a harsh decision on the spot.

Despite everything, if you still feel yourself struggling to say no, remember a quote by Warren Buffet, “Successful people say no to almost everything.” If you take the right decision and say yes to only what is important to you, it allows you to work for it without resentment and fear.

Ultimately, we get more time to ourselves and we keep ourselves occupied with only things that truly matter to us. It allows us more time to concentrate on self-care and better mental health.

Tags: saying no, mental health, the power of no