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Note 10: Why it’s hard to say “no”

Hello and welcome to note 10 of 12. In the last note, you learned about how to receive positive feedback, specifically how to accept compliments. In this note, you will learn about why it can be hard to say no.

All of us find it hard to say no at times. For those with a passive communication style it can be extremely hard. It is impossible to prevent people from asking you to do stuff, the requests will keep coming. So it’s important to find ways of managing what people are asking of you. Their requests might sound something like this:

  • Here’s some more chores for you to do
  • I am moving this afternoon, can you help me?
  • Get this to me by Friday

So why is it so hard to say no? Some common barriers to saying no are:

Wanting them not to ask: “If other people were more considerate they wouldn’t ask me so many unreasonable things!” This belief may cause you to be resentful and angry. The reality is that people have the right to ask you anything, and they will, some may not be aware that you don’t want them to ask

They won’t accept it: You might think that even if you did say “no”, the people in your life would assume that you would go along with them anyway and you fear they won’t take your view seriously.

They won’t accept me: If you don’t feel that someone accepts you for who you are, it can be easy to assume that they only want you to help with things and what you can ‘do for them’ rather than ‘who you are’.

Remember: You are valuable, it is your choice and right to say no.

Action: Think about why you have a hard time saying no and list recent examples.

In the next note we’ll look at how you can prepare to say no.

And don’t forget: You are valuable. You are powerful. You can do this!

Your friends at Soul Medicine

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