The Power of Saying No To Your Loved Ones

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

Saying no can sometimes feel completely impossible in certain situations. I should know; I am the queen of saying yes to things I don’t feel comfortable doing. Disappointing a loved one seems far worse for me than saying no just for my own comfort, but when do we need to realize that we are sacrificing too much of our own sanity for others?

I recently said yes to a loved one on something that has brought me so much anxiety I can barely sleep at night. I’ll toss and turn thinking about the event and thinking of all the reasons I shouldn’t do it. The problem is, once you say yes it is 10x harder to turn around and decline. I’m here to say that it is OK if you said yes and you don’t feel comfortable (I quite literally do it all the time). However we both need to learn that it is ok to say no.

The lightbulb hit when I realized how many times I have had a close friend or family member say no to me. You know what happened? Absolutely nothing. I wasn’t mad in the slightest and I didn’t even think a second about their reply. So why do we think they will think differently? If you have someone who gets mad at YOU because you are not comfortable doing something (or just simply cannot do it) then they probably shouldn’t be high on the list of quality friends.

Saying yes can be a great thing. It makes us do things that we often wouldn’t normally do and gets us out of our comfort zones. I personally am a huge homebody and try to say yes to going out more for growth and social interactions. Yet, if it causes me restless nights and countless panic attacks then it is probably not worth the struggle.

I know it can be hard (I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in because of it). Yet, that minute of “NO,” can be a million times more relieving than weeks of torture. I used to give crazy excuses just because I felt bad saying this little two letter word. Finally I talked with a friend and realized that I don’t have to give a lengthy reply. While I might care about the person I don’t have to give them my life story for why I don’t want to do something (and you don’t have to either).

Successful people say yes to push them to the goals they want to succeed in, but they also know when to say no. It seems silly being scared of such a small word, but a lot of us are. Try it out a couple times; you might actually gain that confidence to use the word a lot more (just make sure NO isn’t getting in between you and your dreams).


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