Not being able to say “no” especially in the business sense can be extremely detrimental to your business. typically people that struggle with telling others “No” are ones who are a bit more emotionally sensitive. It is usually due to a discomfort or fear of the result.
I have to be honest, that at times I to have a problem with saying “no.” At times I am kinder than I should be, and I think it rubs off on me struggling at times to say no in certain situations. I always want people to be happy, I always strive to give exceptional things back to the community, and I am always trying to help my friends and family. The downside is it does burn you out. I got better at saying “no” over the last few years, but it is something I still have to work on or consciously catch myself in the moment when things get too overbearing.
Why Can’t I Just Say No?
There could be many reasons associated with why people don’t say “no” enough. For some people it is a negative word connotation. .Others may have a fear about the resulting consequence. Some may be looking for acceptance of the other person. On a deeper level it could be a form of neglect of care if you tell a friend “no” I can’t help you with that.
Whatever your reasoning is, you need a healthy balance of being able to say “no” in various situations. Saying “no” will give you a little bit more firmness in the response. It is simple and it is direct. Often times you see people avoiding saying “no” by saying something like “I don’t have time for that right now”, or “i just can’t see myself doing that.” These phases are ways to beat around the bush if you truly mean to say “no.”
What Are the Consequences?
There are always consequences when you aren’t able to have a balance in your life. if you are not able to say “no” then there are certain things that tend to occur or recur.
- you will get taken advantage of
- other people’s tasks and priorities get pushed ahead of your own
- you won’t have time to do important things
- people of less importance will take up our time
- stress and frustration kicks in from everything we have to do for others
In my personal life I noticed that certain people will tend to rely on you. It’s a proven fact that if you are reliable and always willing to give a helping hand (in theory it is not being able to say “no” when you are busy with other things) – that people subconsciously know you are always there for them. They will ask you for small favors and it slowly adds up. Imagine having 20 friends that rely on you, it becomes work on its own.
Now I don’t personally mind helping friends, especially if they are great friends, but the fact is it requires a lot of time and energy. On a deeper level, if someone is not a good friend of yours and does not have your best interest in mind they can really take advantage of you. I have seen it and experienced it on more than one occasion. It usually happens because you feel that they are friends of yours or at least the business connections that do have your best interest in mind, when the reality of it is that they do not, or at least not in the level that you think.
When this happens, you tend to offer your good service and your heart to help him or trust them only to get disappointment in return. This can be heartbreaking, but we tend to loop in this cycle until the pain exceeds the pain to change.
There are some really good benefits to being able to say “no” when you want to. It is almost the counters facts to the consequences above. But one of the more important ones is self-confidence and creating healthy boundaries inside of yourself. I talk about personal boundaries in this post. When you have strong personal boundaries, people respect you more, you have more confidence, you know what you want, and your focus on the priority things by being proactive versus reactive.
I hope this shined some light for you. I’m curious about your experiences with saying “no” too often.
Resources & Helpful Tools