Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Learning to say no

Why do so many of us find it hard to say no? Instead we get ourselves stuck in hard or awkward situations in an attempt to avoid that dreaded feeling of guilt. Whether its saying no or standing up for myself I manage to talk myself around, to assume that others know what is best or to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. Lately I am learning that sometimes you just have to put yourself first. Here is a few little tips I have been finding useful...

♥ How long is the decision going to effect you for? Hours, days, weeks, months....Sometimes we have to say yes to things we don't really want to do, especially in relation to our careers if it means getting somewhere better in the future. However if its really not something you want to do and your going to be doing it for a significant amount of time it may not be worth the mental anguish. You can always try and negotiate before coming out and saying no or ask to have some time to think about the request.

♥ What would the person who is asking you to do something do in your situation? You shouldn't feel guilty for saying no when other people in your situation would easily say no. Sometimes you can get targeted for being the nice guy - its important to know when people are being genuine in their requests or taking advantage.

♥ Will there be a financial burdon? Social commitments add up, dinner and drinks with friends, movies, birthdays and so on. It's ok not to go to everything, if your invited to something that is out of your budget politely decline but offer to catch up in a more money friendly way - like a walk in the park or invite them over for dinner at your place.

♥ If you say yes are you going to have feelings of dread?Will the situation make you feel really uncomfortable? Yes feeling guilty sucks but so does dreading an upcoming event for weeks and then having to get through the uncomfortableness of the whole situation. Yes, you will feel guilty if you tell your mums friends daughter they cant stay on your lounge for a month while they look for a place but it may be a better option then explaining to your house mate why someone you barely know is staying at your place.

Saying yes and pushing my comfort zones can be rewarding but I am slowly learning that there is a difference between challenging myself or helping people out than letting people take advantage of me or get into situations I am really unhappy in. How about you? What do you do to get the courage to say no?

P.S Thankyou for all the sweet comments yesterday, I am feeling much better today.


  1. I also have a really big problem with saying no, and I recently posted about this too! The biggest thing I've realized is that especially in terms of friends/loved ones, to consider if they would put themselves out for me. If the answer is yes, I'll do it. If it's even maybe, I won't.

    Saying no in the workplace is a HUGE skill that I'm learning. The more you make yourself a doormat, the harder it is to reverse it. Especially in a world where hard work is no longer rewarded with a raise, it makes it difficult. At the end of the third year at my job I just left (my college/transition job) I was doing 3x's the amount of work that I was when I started, and doing work that people on a SALARY pay were supposed to be doing. When I asked for a $1 raise- they wouldn't give it to me after three years of work and all the stuff I did for them. I was disgusted. $1 an hour = $40 more dollars a week.. seriously? Ugh.

    Good luck my dear! Maybe it's just the winter blues? haha

    With Love From Michigan

  2. I can relate to this post in a lot of ways. Maybe it's the middle child in me that wants to make peace and keep everyone happy or it could be the thought of disappointing anyone sometimes far out weighs what I actually want or need.

    I think learning to say no starts to come with time. The older we get the more situations we bump into and the more challenges we face especially at work. They're great stretching experiences and for myself I start to realize the value in my own time and space that saying no can save a lot of sanity for me and the people around me.

    Hope you're journey to "NO" is a good one. :)

  3. I'm a people pleaser. It's so hard for me to say no. Case in point: we have friends staying with us and I let them sleep in our bed while I sleep on an air mattress and my hubby sleeps on the couch! Ugh. How did I get myself into that?

    Glad you're feeling better!

  4. Sometimes i think I say "no" too often, always turning things down because of how my life is atm being a bit of a whirlwind and all over the place, I think I should take up more opportunities but I never do. Shame really.

  5. I am terrible at saying no in the work place, but I've learned that i need a lot of personal space and alone time so I've gotten really good at saying no for social situations.

  6. I still struggle with saying no at work, it's not that I feel guilty, but I know that I'm somewhat of a last resort for certain projects, so if I'm not doing it, it won't get done. But I've gotten better at saying no socially/personally!

  7. ah.. so true
    but it is difficult to say no without offending your friends..
    anyway, great post!


  8. This is a great post and I can completely relate to it. I hate it when I say 'yes' to something when I should have said 'no' and then I spend ages regretting it/wishing I could get out of it etc or thinking I could be spending that time/money with my boyfriend or my own friends. On the other hand sometimes, because of this, I go the other way and end up saying 'no' to everything and then I miss out..oh dear! I also think some people these days expect too much of others..wanting their friends to spend hundreds of pounds on birthday trips/hen parties etc. It's hard to say no to these exciting things that your good friends want to do but I just can't afford to do all that! x

  9. I think this post is really great. I too suffer from not being able to say no or trying to always please people. I get walked over sometimes and it's not a good thing. I need more back bone and I think your tips are fantastic.
    Thanks Megan for writing your ideas and from your heart. I hope things are going better. xx

  10. great advice! it's always tough saying no, but sometimes it's just gotta be done.... for your own sanity :)

  11. I am the WORST at saying no. Just the other day I was ready to sign us up for a change in gas company, simply because my gentle "I'm not sure" tactics weren't working. Luckily Mr LG came home and told the guy we weren't interested.

    I've been told my worst trait is that I'm too nice, which often means I get walked over far too often.

    x Jasmine


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