It's Okay to Say No

The word “no” can be a terrifying thing for people to say to others. It can be especially hard for those who struggle with social anxiety or other mental health setbacks. For most, it’s probably hard to say “no” because we're naturally people pleasers and don’t want to let others down. However, sometimes our inability to say “no” to others can cause serious issues and lead to uncomfortable situations. I know I sound like an old man preaching some useless wisdom right now, but hear me out. 

Avoiding the word “no” can make some tough situations even worse. You don’t need to feel bad or beat yourself up because you simply can’t do something for someone else. It’s important to remember that you are living for yourself. Life is short and you have to do what makes you happy, not what is going to make your friends, family, or acquaintances happy. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to never do anything for others. I’m simply saying that you need to put yourself first sometimes and reassess what matters most to you. 

When you agree to something without thinking it through or do it solely to be agreeable, you’re only harming yourself. In doing so, you commit yourself to things you might feel resentful towards or tasks that take time out of your day. Forcing yourself into these settings can really take a toll on your mental health and affect your overall happiness.

In many cases, it’s more detrimental to say the word “yes” or agree to something rather than simply refusing to do it. Saying “no” relieves huge amounts of unwanted stress and anxiety. Even if it’s something as simple as running an errand for someone when you could be doing something for yourself, you still cause yourself some amount of stress. In more drastic cases, learning to say “no” in unwanted sexual situations or dangerous social settings can be really important. You should never feel pressured or forced into something because you couldn’t say “NO!” 

I know it’s hard to believe, but I promise that others will understand when you can’t agree to do something. They won’t be upset or do anything drastic just because you had too much on your plate to do something for them. No one is ever going to look down on you for putting yourself first or taking care of the things you need to do.

It’s important to understand that when it really comes down to it, saying “no” is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I understand that in today’s society it’s really hard to disagree with others or put yourself first because you don’t want to come across as rude or stand-offish. It definitely takes confidence to tell someone “no”, and I admire those who have the courage to do that for themselves. It isn’t a word that should be feared or avoided. I know it might take some time, but I promise it is completely okay to say “No!” 

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