The Art of Saying No

Have you ever said yes, when all you really want is to say no? Many of us, including myself, fall victim to this. The real question is, how do you say “no” without offending someone else and respecting yourself?

Through therapy and life experience, I have learned that not only is it okay to say no, sometimes it’s the right choice for you. Here are a few tips on mastering the art of saying no:

Know you can’t please everyone.

Tell yourself, “It is impossible to please everyone.” Saying “yes,” all the time can be draining and you need to draw the line on when and how you say “no.” While it may feel like you’re disappointing others, saying yes constantly can cause people to take advantage of you.

Know your worth.

Realize that you do not have to put up with anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, or uneasy. Anxiety affects everyone differently, and people who have more serious bouts can feel anxious for smaller reasons – that can be hard to understand for people who aren’t in the same mind frame. If you find yourself becoming anxious or uncomfortable more often than not, it’s time to assess the situation and know you deserve better, and more understanding.

Don’t apologize.

When saying no, it can be really easy to start out with, “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that sounds more polite, and anxiety tends to make us apologize more often out of fear. While politeness is important, apologizing is not necessary. Be firm and stand your ground about guarding your time – stick up for yourself.

It’s okay to move on.

While it can be essential to stick up for ourselves and remove certain people from our lives if our time isn’t being respected, the tricky part is moving on. When saying “no” to a relationship, it can be hard to block the negative thoughts from overwhelming our mind once that connection is over. But, it’s important to remember that you removed yourself from the situation for a reason – your time has value.

It’s crucial to know when your time is being disrespected and protect yourself, rather than let a situation build until it explodes and begins to affect our mental health. Yes, sticking up for yourself could potentially ruin a relationship, but if someone has a problem with you putting your mental health first, they didn’t deserve to be in your life to begin with.

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