No. Period.

January 26, 2018 08:04 AM Aditi Sharma

Saying no can be hard but what’s even more difficult is saying yes to something and then trying to get out of it later on. We have all been there at least once and it’s not a good place to be. I have realized saying no is a skill you need to learn if you want to keep your sanity intact. And I’m pretty sure there are many who will agree with me when I say that life needs to be simple and something as basic as not having to do what you don’t want to can go a long, long way in making things easy for you on a day-to-day basis.

As someone who found it quite tough (and at times, almost impossible) to say no to friends when they asked for favors, I ended up learning my lesson the hard way. I have wasted my time watching movies I had already watched and hadn’t even enjoyed, been cheated out of a sizable chunk of money, and been people’s chauffer when they have had to run errands week after week. Now that I’ve started saying no, I might have alienated a few people but I can assure you that I don’t feel unnecessary pressure anymore and I don’t dread phone calls either like I used to. 

Over the past few weeks, I have been having quite a few discussions about the importance of saying no and the viewpoints and stories I got to hear were very interesting. Here are some candid confessions on saying no and its repercussions. From being called rude and obnoxious to losing a friend by saying no, it seems there’s a lot the word no can bring about. But, interestingly enough, people also confessed that they are better off saying no despite the consequences. 

I don’t like to say no because I fear it will offend the person who has just asked me for a favor and he/she won’t think of me as a nice person anymore. I can’t handle conflicts very well and saying no often ends up in just that which is why I find it easier to say yes and go with the flow or go a little out of my way to get something done. That, for me, is easier to handle than awkward situations after I say no to something. But, of late, I realize I’m a little bitter and stressed at the end of the day. Sometimes it feels like I’m living my life on somebody else’s terms. And that’s not a good feeling. I want to be able to change that and I’m actually talking to people who are good at saying what they feel to understand how they do it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to live life on my own terms again. 
The girl who complies to avoid awkward situations 

Once upon a time I had a friend who didn’t like to hear the word no. She would get all whiny and would start blackmailing me and I would often give in to put an end to the issue. But doing things I didn’t want to made me a very cranky person and, over time, I actually came to despise my ‘friend’ for making me do things I wasn’t up for. We are no longer friends. Our relationship went downhill went I started resisting her offers. I guess when I started saying no to things she wanted to do – like go shopping on Sunday, or leave work early to go have a drink because she felt like it for the 10th time in a month – she didn’t want to be ‘friends’ with me. It’s worked in my favor. I suddenly have a lot of free time for myself and also don’t have to tax my brains to make up excuses anymore. 
The one who lost a friend and gained a life

There’s a guy at work who says no so bluntly that it often offends people. People talk behind his back and say he is rude and ill mannered. But I don’t think he is. He just seems to know what he wants and doesn’t like to get stuck with unwanted commitments. At least he is not like many people who scramble to make last minute excuses to get out of something they said yes to and didn’t want to do in the first place. This colleague might be hated for his bluntness but it seems to work to his advantage. And, I believe, you shouldn’t have to go against your own wishes to please others. You have to be happy and do what you think is right for you. And saying no to things that you don’t want to do is a great way to start. 
She who is slowly learning to say no

I’m learning to say no to things I don’t want to be involved in. First, I had to tell myself that saying no doesn’t make me a bad person and if someone thinks so then there’s nothing I can do about it. And the more I told myself that, the easier it became to not fall into the trap of saying yes to things without thinking it through. Earlier, I used to say yes to things the moment somebody said something and then regret it a minute later. Now I tell them I’ll think it through which gives me time to frame my answers (or excuses) and then get back to them (or not). Sometimes, avoidance can also be a good way to say no indirectly. I confess some people have taken this personally and hold a grudge against me but, to be honest, I don’t really care anymore.
A newbie at saying no 

Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. I know that’s cliché but that’s also very true. Think about it. You can’t waste your life on things that you don’t want to be a part of. There are other important (or not-so-important) things that you might want to do. So you don’t want to go watch a movie, or go on a trek but you would rather sleep in. That’s okay. And it’s okay to tell people that. It’s okay to say no to get together suggestions and dinner party invitations if you are going to oblige grudgingly. There’s no point in feeling bad and still doing something just to make sure the one who asked for it doesn’t feel bad. In your life, you have to put yourself first. No one is going to do that for you. And you shouldn’t either. If someone is offended, so be it. That’s their problem. Not yours. It’s as simple as that. 
The one who lives by the motto “My life, my rules”

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