7 Reasons You Should Be Saying No
If you’re finding saying no, difficult – either because you’re not sure why you should or how to go about it – you’re reading the right blog post.
Maybe saying no makes you afraid, sad and confused. Perhaps you keep saying Yes, because you think people won’t like or understand you – if you say no.
Read on because by the end of this blog post, you’ll see the 7 reasons you need to be saying no. And you might even find ways to go about it.
1) You should absolutely be saying No, if you’re only saying Yes to please someone else.
Here’s an uncomfortable truth; no matter how nice you are or how understanding you want people to think you are, agreeing to do what others want you to do all the time is a recipe for disaster for you.
- that person you can’t stand and you don’t really want to date, but you don’t want people to say you’re too picky
- that book/music genre you don’t even read/listen to, but you still got it cos you’re deathly afraid of saying no to someone who’ll get mad
- being emotionally blackmailed by an elder or religious leader, who claims “You wouldn’t press charges against a thief/robber/murderer/rap*st/criminal if you have really forgiven”
You should be saying no
with your full chest unapologetically and firmly.
2) You should be saying No if your gut tells you to.
Sometimes, you don’t see the full picture because it hasn’t revealed itself or there’s been a deliberate effort to deceive you.
There are times when something looks and sounds good, but it feels off. And you can’t place a finger on why.
You may even get angry with yourself for not taking what looks like a golden, only or the last opportunity, especially when there’s no logical reason to refuse. This is not the same as self-doubt.
Sometimes, your gut feels what your eyes have not seen or your brain hasn’t been able to process. And in time, you get to see Ahhhhhh, so that was why I felt that.
Personally, there has NEVER been a time – no matter how the circumstances looked – when I ignored my gut about something or someone and I didn’t end up regretting ignoring it. Just like even when things have been rough after I chose to go with my gut, I didn’t regret it in the long run.
3) You should be saying No if exposure in the future will cause shame or pain to you (or someone you love).
It’s not even about the wrongness or the rightness of a thing and I’m not debating morality.
But if you know that if my involvement in this thing/my dalliance with this person were to become public knowledge, even years from now, I won’t like it (or the result), you probably need to be fleeing that thing or person as far and as fast as possible. And saying no as you go.
There are no secrets; just things that have not been revealed yet.
People get attacks of conscience or feel a need to unburden themselves on their deathbeds. Folk open up in exposé they’ve been paid for.
Some are found out by accident. Or by a dogged journalist with an agenda.
It doesn’t matter how long a lie has been believed without being challenged; the truth always overtakes at some point.
4) Saying No reveals the heart and character of the one(s) it’s said to.
Have you ever been with a person who seems to be nice and lovely – till it’s clear they won’t get what they want from you?
And I’m not even talking about a 2yo who throws an ugly tantrum cos you won’t let them have ice-cream RIGHT NOW!!!
I’m talking about the guy/gal who swore to love you till their dying day, but turns on you the day they hear you saying no.
The person you thought was your friend, but drugged you and sexually assaulted you after you said you didn’t want to have sex with them.
Maybe it’s the person you opened up to, but they sold you out the first opportunity they got. Framed you for what you didn’t do, then helped spread a false narrative. Cos you had the temerity to be caught saying no to what they wanted.
Or the employer who tells everyone how reliable you are – because you have no life of your own, so you’re always at their beck and call – yet morphs into a monster when you don’t want to sign up for overtime.
The parent who said you were one of their greatest blessings, but is cussing you out, blackening your name and now swearing you’re no good cos you’re saying no.
No, I’m not going to sell my body abroad to send you foreign currency.
No, I’m staying married and you have to respect my spouse cos I won’t hurt them to prove I’m a good son/daughter to you.
No, I won’t help you tell/cover up this lie.
No, I won’t do 419/become an armed robber/emigrate illegally, to enable you to pepper all the women in your church.
And their reaction to your saying no shocks you, cos who knew that saying no could have such serious consequences?
The truth is that they were always that way, but you didn’t see them before. You believed what they told you, perhaps cos of their title.
Mother. Father. Sibling. Spouse. Sis/bro from another mama. Bestie/BFF. Mentor. Cousin. Pastor. Pastor’s wife. Family.
So, when they behave like what they really are, you feel betrayed. Yet, a snake is a snake, so will – sooner or later – do what a snake does, even if you tell yourself it’s a piece of twine and try to treat it as such, cos the involvement of your ego or your reliance on your emotions meant you hadn’t learned to recognise people, things and situations for what they really are.
But saying no to people who feel entitled to your Yes, always exposes i) what they really feel about you and ii) who they are and have always been, despite their title.
5) Saying No clarifies your choices and even when it doesn’t look like it, can simplify your life.
You can’t be a vegetarian and a meat-eater at the same time.
You can’t take a job with Company A, yet not take any job with Company A at the same time.
You can’t be celibate and sexually active at the same time.
You can’t do this movie, yet not do the movie at the same time.
Sometimes, the decision to say no is made for you – or made easier – by the circumstances in which the proposition is presented.
Whether it’s a personal or a business endeavour, you should definitely be saying no to anyone who ridicules you for asking for more information to enable you make the right decision for you. Nobody comes into this world, knowing everything about anything and if someone is trying to hurry or pressure you into taking a decision very fast, experience has taught me it’s cos they are hiding something that’s going to come back and bite you in the behind.
I can’t tell you how horrified I am when I hear that a creative who comes to my company, admits they signed a contract elsewhere that they didn’t read or couldn’t understand, cos they were afraid of being ridiculed for asking questions.
6) Saying No can free you from the weight of obligations and expectations that have nothing to do with you.
Whether you are a woman in Law or Media, many people have expectations of you that a) are not in your best interests and b) can be used to control you.
Whether it’s you have to prove that even though you write feminist material or you are a Family Lawyer, you don’t really hate men, by showing us the man you’re with.
Or prove to your haters that a man found you marriagable by rubbing a hugely and stupidly expensive wedding in their faces, when truth is you’ve always wanted to elope.
Or we want you to post videos on social media, of you giving birth, to prove that a) you were really pregnant and b) there’s nothing wrong with you.
Or the employer who is putting you under pressure to prove that you can make partner in a law firm by 35. Or the agent or so-called fan claiming you’re only worthy of applause if you win an international award with your first book/movie/album.
You have your own issues to deal with; you don’t have to take on anybody else’s (craziness).
When you understand that no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone – that is a game-changer. So, you don’t have to take on the weight of their expectations; most times, it’s nothing to do with you and saying no will minimise a lot of foolishness.
I did this interview the other day and I told the podcaster that I decided before I did my very first media interview, (after my first book was released) the parts of my life I would never sell out for clicks. I have a bit of a reputation for being able to hide the truth about my personal life in plain sight because I’m not triggered by insinuations or conjecture and I just won’t answer certain questions.
I started to walk in a new level of freedom when I settled within myself that in some situations, No is a complete answer. So, I like to say that “Unless I’m in a court of law where I have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I don’t have to tell you certain things if I don’t want to.”
7) Saying No can strip you of your excuses and expose your greatest fears
It’s one thing to be controlled by other people’s machinations or demons. But it’s another thing when you’re not saying no because what you’re afraid of is (in) you.
- the chic that keeps spending money she can’t afford on so-called family or friends, but you can’t say no cos you believe that your worth is tied to your ability to dole out cash
- that lady who won’t stop drinking even if you hate the taste of alcohol and the hangover, you’re afraid that saying No will expose what you really think of yourself; that you’re not fun enough for anyone to hang out with, unless you’re inebriated
- the woman in Law or Media who won’t complete this form because no matter what you say on social media, you’re truly afraid to succeed in a way that doesn’t actually kill you
Saying No can force you to confront your greatest fears.
And in some ways, that can mean there are no excuses for you to hide behind.
Cos there are some things that may not come while you’re not actively saying No to certain other things.
So, which of these 7 reasons you should be saying No, surprised you the most? Leave a comment below and tell me!