Just Say No: Why those two letters shouldn’t make you feel guilty

Say No (Image Credit: Ashley Webb)
Say No (Image Credit: Ashley Webb)

One word. Two letters. No.

Although the word “no” may be one short and easy word to articulate, it seems to be one of the hardest words to roll off the tongue when needed. Saying no to a request or plead is a form of rejection, and let’s face it, no one loves rejection. But while it hurts to be on the receiving end, as a doer you mustn’t feel guilty. After all, you need to remember the reasons for saying it in the first place.

Here are some of the major reasons why you say no.

For the sake of your pockets

People forget that certain requests will cost a pretty penny. For example, if a friend asks you to lend them a few bucks for lunch, swearing they will pay you back the next time they see you, some times the best response is just, “no.” Besides the fact that this friend is totally unreliable and will probably never pay you back, those couple of bucks that you lent them is taking away from the nice day at the spa you’ve been saving up for or even something more serious, like a bill. It sounds dramatic, but saying yes to every hungry friend tends to add up and the only things that suffer are you and your pockets.

For the sake of your time

With only 24 hours in a day, it’s hard to get everything you want to get done. That is primarily why saying no for the sake of your precious time is understandable. For instance, if another friend asks to borrow your car to go to the mall to get an outfit for dinner or a concert, don’t be ashamed; tell them that today is not the day. While it would be great to help them out, remember you have to get to the cleaners before it closes, get some groceries because you’ve been living off grilled cheeses for the past 2 weeks and then make it to your doctor’s appointment. Lending your car for who knows how long will screw up your whole schedule.

For the sake of being realistic

So your closest friend is having a baby shower today, but it says on your iPhone calendar that you are supposed to be having lunch with your mom. Then another friend calls and invites you to a nice get-together with a bunch of other folks. Meanwhile, your dog is choking on a button he swallowed and will have to go to the vet. Something’s gotta give. Unfortunately, you can’t clone yourself or be more than one place at a time, so somebody is going to have to get a “no.” You shouldn’t feel bad though; it’s just being realistic. For the sake of your sanity, you’re going to have to make a decision.

For the sake of you just don’t feel like it

There are some days where you’re not going to feel like doing anything, where you just want to lay around in the house with a bowl of ice cream and cup of tea and watch a movie. It’s understandable. You’ve had a long week at work or it’s just one of those days where you don’t want to be around people. In this case, why not just say “no”? Even if friends invite you out, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go. Usually, you could hop in the shower and throw on some clothes, but if you just feel like “veg’ing out” in sweatpants and a large tee shirt that is completely your right.

There are a million other reasons why just saying “no” is the right way to go, and why you shouldn’t feel guilty. However, if there are times where you think that the word itself is too harsh, there are plenty of alternatives. “It’s just not a good time” or “I have other engagements” are some of the few. And don’t worry, they’re not complete lies. Regardless of how you say it, turning down requests or invitations is just something that you have to do for the sake of your schedule, time and sanity.

 


Image courtesy of Ashley Webb
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I am an undergraduate student at Syracuse University, studying magazine journalism in The Newhouse School. I love discussing music and movies as well as capturing street art and unique fashion styles.

2 thoughts on “Just Say No: Why those two letters shouldn’t make you feel guilty

  1. So true. I have a hard time saying no. The guilt gets me every time, but I’m a champion of excuses. But excuses are no way to live your life. It’s so much easier and honest for everyone if we just say no. Nice article, this needed to be said. 🙂

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