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“No” Should Be In Our Everyday Vocabulary

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

 It’s easy to say that we’re going to stand up for ourselves or that we’ll use the word “no” when we disagree with something, but how many times do we actually do it when we face an uncomfortable situation? Unfortunately, I’m guilty of this, but I bet it happens to a lot of us who are empathetic and nurturing. We hate the idea of disappointing others or hurting their feelings, so we make other people happy by any means necessary.

In the end, what we neglect to realize is that we’ll still end up unsatisfied by saying “yes”  when we don’t want to because we ignored our needs and wants. We determine what is significant through appearance and relationships. We want people to see us as dependable and trustworthy; this doesn’t mean that we don’t genuinely possess these traits, it just means that we’re trying to protect our relationships by being a wonder woman or a superman. However, it comes at the cost of letting ourselves down.

It’s important to understand that saying “yes” too often will begin to hurt your relationships because people aren’t fully understanding the true you or your desires. Therefore, you must set boundaries in order to receive respect from your relationships. In other words,  if you say “no” when it’s necessary, people will find that you have authority. Saying “yes” can mean you’re vulnerable–which is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. However, many people will see it as a weakness and will expect you to do things because they know you hate disappointing them.

So, if we don’t learn to say “no” what will happen is that we will become stressed and frustrated because we are putting other people’s priorities over our own. This can result in losing valuable resources in our lives–like our time, energy, and money. Another downfall of always saying “yes” is that eventually we won’t be able to say “yes” to the important things in our own lives because we’re too busy taking care of the minor needs of others.

I totally get that it’s hard to start saying “no” to situations when you’re used to saying “yes” all the time, so here are some healthy ways that can help you start building up the power to say “no!”:

  • Check how you feel physically
  • Ask yourself if you really want to do it
  • Don’t answer right way, think about it
  • Practice saying “no” to little things

These habits may seem straightforward, but only with time and consistency you will be able to master them and no longer feel afraid to say no.

Along with the power of saying “no” comes taking care of yourself and setting standards for your relationships. This means that family, friends, and even strangers, will understand where you stand when it comes to prioritizing your own needs and wants, and they will respect you for it. While learning to say “no” you may start overthinking and feel pressure from people who take your “no” the wrong way. But, this may help you learn who is worth keeping in your life. I know it may sound selfish to say this, but at the end of the day, all you have is yourself and that’s who you need to make happy.

Karina Espinoza Rios is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Arizona State University. Her dream is to become a borderlands and arts reporter, but she would also like to pursue becoming an anchor for a talk show or for a local news station. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona has empowered her to want to become an inspiration specifically for her community and aims to leave a mark in this place that has given her so much. She loves FASHION! And in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading books, and listening to music. Thrilled to be part of HerCampus, Karina is ready to explore her creative writing skills as she’s mostly worked with video and if you have any story ideas she is always open for an adventure! Feel free to contact her here: kespino6@asu.edu