I realised I was afraid of saying “no” because my biggest fear was rejection. I was afraid that every time I said “no” it felt as if I was hurting someone, disappointing them or appearing unkind. Saying “no” doesn’t mean that you are being rude, selfish or unkind. These are just unhelpful beliefs that make us avoid saying “no”.

As a child I learnt that saying “no” was inappropriate or was impolite, and saying “no” to my parents or grandparents was considered rude and I would have been told off.

Saying “no” was off limits and yes, it was polite and likeable to say yes. Now that I am an adult, I am more mature and able to make my own decisions. I know the difference between right and wrong. Saying “no” is not a show off limit word but rather something we decide by ourselves based on our own discretion.

But, sadly I still held on to my childhood belief and association with the word “no” with being dislikeable, bad mannered, selfish or unkind. I felt humiliated and I ended up alone, rejected. Saying “no” is realising that you are valuable and choosing your own opinion over someone else’s.

I have learnt that if you live your life depending on other people’s approval you will never feel free. After feeling trapped for some time by my excessive urge to be agreeable, it got me thinking. I asked myself a question why it was important for me to please everyone to the point that I felt resentful and stressed because of it. Wouldn’t it be easier to say “no” straight-forward. I remember saying yes this one time and later on, I felt so bad about it that I ended up lying my way out of it, I still feel bad that I lied about it.

What makes a person great is not their looks or achievements but their willingness to love other people. Learning where the beliefs have come from is a great way of learning to let it go. Learning to say “no” is deciding if saying “yes” is worth it. After committing to something, doubt eventually sets in and you may begin to think ways you can get out of it.

Practice saying “no”. If you have to say no just say it because lying leads to guilt. Better to say no now than being resentful later.


Tell us: Do you agree that it is better to say “no” instead of lying?