If you feel the constant need to please everyone around you, I must tell you that there are quite a few reasons it’s okay to say no. Josh Billings once said that, “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough,” and he couldn’t be more right! Just remember that every time you are saying yes to somebody or to something you don’t really want to do, you are actually saying no to yourself. You’re not being selfish for wanting to do whatever you want every once in a while. It’s very noble of you to want to help the people around you, but sometimes, you just have to say no and think of your own happiness, because this constant need to please everybody can drain you and in the long term, you’ll feel exhausted and unable to see all the wonderful things in your life that you need to be grateful for. Here are a few very important reasons it’s okay to say no from time to time that you should really consider:
1. You Don’t Owe Anybody Anything
One of the most important of the reasons it’s okay to say no is precisely the fact that you don’t owe anybody anything. You are only trying to help the ones around you because you can, because you want to and because you choose to do it. You are actually not obliged to do it. Don’t feel guilty if every once in a while, you would prefer to just sit at home and relax and not go out with your colleagues on a Friday night or if you don’t want to do somebody else’s job again.
2. You Can’t Control Other People’s Opinions of You
No matter what you do, whether you help them or not, you just can’t control what other people think of you. Sometimes, even if you’ve tried to do your best and you’ve worked very hard trying to help someone, they might still not be satisfied and all your efforts will be pretty much in vain. Just focus on your own happiness every now and then and simply say no!
3. You Are the One Who is Affected by Your Decisions
The truth is that you are the person most affected by your decisions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to help other people or to have a positive impact on their lives, just think of yourself every once in a while. If you notice that what you are doing is hurting you, then just say no and don’t do it. For example, if you say yes to a party on a week night, when in fact you want to say no because you have a big project to turn in the next morning, you are the only person who will be affected by your decision. Just think of this the next time you are inclined to say yes to something you don’t really want to do and see if it’s really worth it.
4. You Are the Only One Who Knows What Makes You Happy
You are the most appropriate person to know what really makes you happy. Just listen to your inner voice before saying yes to something you don’t really want to do and try to understand why you feel this way. No one knows better than you what makes you happy, so if you’re hesitant or not sure about something because you are not thrilled about that idea, just say no and focus on your own happiness instead.
5. You Have the Right to Relax
Just like everyone else, you have the right to relax too. By saying yes all the time and by feeling stressed because you can’t do everything you committed to, you will only exhaust yourself and you won’t have any more energy to do those things you truly enjoy. So, think about yourself every now and then, about you well-being and just say no, because by doing this, you’re actually saying yes to yourself and to the things you love.
6. You Have the Right to Choose
Don’t worry; no one will get mad if you can’t help them with their project this one time. If they do, then they just are not worth the effort because a true friend will always understand you and will want what’s best for you. You have the right to choose, so no one can force you to do a certain thing you don’t want to do, not even your boss. I’m sure you are a good person who always tries to help the ones around you, but sometimes you have to be a bit selfish and do whatever makes you happy.
7. You Can’t Help Everyone
You can’t help everyone all the time, no matter how hard you try. People will always have requests, sometimes you will be able to help them and sometimes you won’t. Just don’t be so hard on yourself if you can’t do it and don’t beat yourself up! It’s okay to say no if you don’t have the time or the possibility to help others and also, you can say no without giving a detailed excuse. Just like Lori Deschene, founder of tinybuddha.com, said, “Happiness is a choice, but it’s made up of lots of smaller choices we need to make based on what we actually want.” Just keep that in mind the next time you are tempted to say yes to something you don’t really want to do.
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to say no, especially to the people you love, but it’s one of those things you have to do to stay happy. Do you find it hard to say no? Do you know any other reasons why it’s okay to say no from time to time? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!