The Importance of Saying No

The Importance of Saying No


            I’ll admit it: I am terrible at saying no. I agree to many, many things that I don’t actually want to do, out of fear of disappointing those around me. I’m a major people-pleaser, and always find myself in situations I don’t want to be in, whether it’s going out with friends, taking on a new club task, or working extra hours.

            Last summer, I was saying yes to anything people asked me to do. I had four part-time jobs and was house sitting all summer. I barely had time to see my friends, and my family was bummed that I was at school all year and then barely around during the summer. I realized that I needed to cut back on some of my activities, and finally decided to start saying the one word that made me most nervous: “no”.

            Every time I say it, “no” becomes a little bit easier for me. Even though it might be uncomfortable, and I still want to please everyone around me, I know that becoming involved in too much is just not good for me. When I overcommit, be it to work or extracurriculars, I have no time or energy to give to my friends, my family, and most importantly, myself. If saying “no” is as hard for you as it is for me, here are a few tips to make it a little less difficult:

  • Understand that saying “no” does not make you lazy- I used to think that the best thing I could be was “busy”. I’ve finally realized how rough that is on me personally. I’m way more productive when I’m well rested and stress-free. Remembering that I can give more of my talents to important projects when I actually say “no” to less important ones does make it easier.
  • Know that you will be able to spend more time with those you love most- Once I started to say “no” to tasks that weren’t as meaningful to me, I found I had way more time to actually enjoy my family, friends, and boyfriend. This gave me an opportunity to participate in events I would have missed when I was always agreeing to things that took me away from them.
  • It might just make you happier overall- When I started saying “no”, I was much less stressed, and had more time to do things I love to do. I wasn’t running around in 10 different directions, and had more time to rest and relax. Learning to say “no” might just be the best thing you do for yourself.


Remember, Bearcats: Say “Yes!” to the things that make you happiest in life, and never feel bad about saying “no”