Sometimes, it’s ok to say no

‘No’ is a very interesting word isn’t it? It has the power to completely shatter and shut down a person’s self-confidence. It can also limit someone to a particular level for a very long time. The word ‘No’ can have very devastating effects, beyond what the person who said them originally intended.

Which is why I hate saying no, especially when it comes to helping people out and working. I like to think I’m dependable so when someone calls and says “Doyin, please can you help me drop off some documents for person A on your way to the salon”, I usually say yes despite the fact that the place I’ve been asked to go is off my route. It gets worse if it is someone that I respect or hold in high regard.

No matter how much I love being diligent, for the sake of my health and sanity, I just have to say no. Sometimes I have to tell people, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to help” without feeling guilty. And that’s the hard part; not feeling guilty. I do feel bad when I let someone down especially when the person was really counting on me. Unfortunately for me, a lot of people count on me so you can imagine the dilemma I face everyday.

I know I’m not the only one with this kind of problem. Some are very lucky to have the willpower to say no and just move on. Some of us, even after saying no, still dwell on the no we have just said and the impact it would have on the person we have said it to. Isn’t that just great? If you are one of those people that don’t find it difficult to say no and turn people down, how do you do it? Does it require you to withdraw completely and be without emotion? I really need to know and learn.

Life is all about balance. You need to know when to say no and when to say yes. If you say yes every time, soon enough people will start taking you for granted. And if you’re not careful, feelings of resentment will start to grow within you. On the other hand, if you say no every time then you’ll be labeled as a wicked person or worse someone who is heartless. Both extremes are not good. That’s why finding the right balance is key. One of the ways of finding that balance is knowing that you don’t have to say yes every time. There is a season for yes and there is also a season for no. Don’t feel bad when you have to say no but don’t do it every time.

Easier said than done right? I know the feeling.

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