The Subtle Art of Saying ‘NO’

How was your week, dear Soul-Searchers?

How did you spend the first week of September? Well, if you have read my previous post, you would know how the onset of September has changed everything around here for better. The week was indeed a good one with frequent rains and a constant cooling breeze blowing. The heat, which is still there, is however subsiding. Thanks to the September air!

I was sitting with my evening cuppa and enjoying the golden and crimson sunset when my mind thought of all those times I really needed to say ‘NO’ at certain times but did not. I ended up wasting my time and energy, my peace of mind and sometimes money. I am sure most of us have had this experience at some point in time. Being helpful, friendly, altruistic are all necessary too. However, so is the ability to say ‘NO’ when needed.

If we had learnt to say ‘No” at the right time, we would have been saved from so many “wrong” decisions we have made in our life.

We would have not eaten the extra piece of cake when we were sick because our friends asked us to.

We would have not got into a relationship knowing it was probably not the wisest thing to do then just because the other person seemed needy.

We would have not married the inappropriate partner for us knowing that our heart did not lie in it only because we couldn’t confess our feelings.

We would have not gone out for that late-night party, knowing that it would ruin our family time just because we feared to hurt the sentiments of our hosts.

Well, the list can be endless.

It is only retrospectively that we think and think in our heads and go, “Damn it, I shouldn’t have said yes then”. But that “then”, that moment has passed now and the only thing we can do is cry over spilt milk. And we know how this ends, don’t we?

But fear not my friends. We are only human, and we learn till our dying day (Yes, we are that bad in learning lessons from our mistakes!).

Here are some ways we can probably learn to say ‘NO’ when necessary:

1.      Pause before you answer.

We shouldn’t just jump right in whenever we face a question. Think and ask yourself specific questions before you answer.

2.      Ask yourself the right questions.

  • Do you want it?
  • Do you need to do that?
  • Do you wish this to happen?

If you find yourself saying ‘NO’ to any of such questions, go ahead and say it.

3.      Learn the subtle art of saying ‘NO’.

We can answer in negative with much politeness and grace.

  • “Thank you, but I am sorry, I cannot…”
  • “I respect your idea, but I beg to disagree and…”
  • “I understand your feelings, but I am sorry to say that I do not feel the same way…”

There can be many more such respectful ways to put across your ‘NO’.

4.      The biggest question you should ask yourself every time you find it difficult to say ‘NO’ is:

“Am I going to regret this decision later?”

If you are, then say ‘NO’. Otherwise, the guilt is going to haunt you for the rest of your life.

5.      You have to understand that there is a personal space you have which is sacred to you. You should respect that yourself.

You cannot let anyone invade your sacred personal space. Not allowing anyone into this space is not rude. Instead, it makes you stronger as a person. So, understand that it is okay to say ‘NO’ when you feel that way wholeheartedly. Do not make others decide for you. Make your own decisions and for yourself.

6.      You will also have to realise that those who are your genuine well-wishers will understand if you say ‘NO’ to them at some point in time.

There may be times when they may feel upset, but they will understand eventually that you had actual reasons behind your answer. And those who do not, well, you know!

7.      Last but not least, saying ‘NO’ is essential but do not just go off saying only that every time!

Think hard and think well. You will learn when to say ‘NO’ and when not to eventually in your process of learning. Do not worry.


Well, this is it, I think. If I have missed out anything, please feel free to comment below. It will be much appreciated.

If you liked reading my post, do not forget to like, share and comment. Also, follow my blog to receive notifications the next time I come up with something new. Your encouragement helps us grow as bloggers. Thank you for reading ❤

p.c: Pablo. Buffer and Pixabay

p.s: Read during your weekend on Acknowledging Our Emotions, How Hard it is to Keep Trust in a Relationship and 10 Beautiful Quotes on Friendship

Hope you have a lovely weekend! Till the next time we speak,

Happy Soul-Searching!

Author: The SoulSearcher

The writer is a research scholar in English literature, an avid reader and sucker for life philosophies

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