Learn to say no, why and how?

I realize that many of us (I am indeed part of this great “family”) do not dare to say “no”. I wanted to get out of this, after having noted the malaise that it can cause to always say “yes” when we want to say “no”. Having worked hard on this subject, I want to help you in turn to identify the why of this “fear” of “say no” and to offer you keys to learn to assert yourself.

Where does this apprehension of the “no” come from?

I would say that this “fear”, this apprehension of using the word “no” in response to a request from someone, goes back most of the time, to childhood.

As a child, we could have the belief that “if I say no, we risk not loving each other anymore, so I say yes. “
I would add that there may also be pressure from parents (I do not blame, most of the time, it leaves a good feeling) requesting their child be a” good child “to be polite by telling them that the word “no” is not a pretty word.
Children may, therefore, be under the unconscious pressure of their parents who are themselves under pressure from society: “If my child is not polite = refuses to do what is asked of him, we will think that I am not a good parent “.

That’s why I think that everything is a question of pressure that we receive from a lot of people, or more exactly, that we accept to receive!

Because yes, I repeat, everything is a choice, we can also choose not to suffer this pressure and not to bend before it. The problem is that it’s a vicious circle. The child who has always learned, what to say “yes” and to put others before himself to be considered as a good person, will have this belief inscribed in his unconscious, all his life. That is, he will instill the same thing in his children, etc. , which becomes a social phenomenon and creates generalized beliefs.

But the good news is that it is possible to change one’s own beliefs and to adopt new thoughts.

First of all, in which cases do we often find it difficult to say “no” and why?

Why say “yes” when you think “no”?

If you, like me, are part of those people who can not say no, you will surely recognize yourself among the situations and thoughts that I will discuss.

A matter of beliefs

As I said above about the origins of this habit, we often believe, consciously or unconsciously, that to be a good person is to say yes to others.

Maybe if I tell you it’s wrong will relieve you. Because yes, it’s wrong. It’s not saying yes to everything and everyone makes you a “good person”. It just makes you nice to anyone who can ask for anything.
Is that how you want to be perceived? Is this how you define yourself? “Nice and good pear”?
If that’s what you want to be, free to you, I do not judge absolutely, it’s your choice and from the moment we make a conscious choice, it’s respectable.

On the other hand, if you do not define yourself like this and do not want to be seen like that anymore, I invite you to read more, to ask questions and to start respecting yourself better.

I allow myself to be a little abrupt in my comments because I went there and it took me several kicks to the buttocks for me to realize that saying “yes” to everything does not define me and I did not respect me.

The reasons for our tendency to avoid refusal like the plague are many but I think that some stand out and will surely echo you.

A form of fear

Often what prevents us from saying no to someone who asks us something, is a form of fear. Not the fear of saying no but the fear of what we might feel in the future. The fear of what the person will think and therefore more exactly of what we will think that the person can think. 

Yes, it’s a bit crooked but think about it and ask yourself if there is not a bit of that in your fear of saying no.

This brings back to the fear of being frowned upon, less loved … by the person who is denied. But these are just beliefs.

First, you can not control the thoughts of others and even if it’s hard to hear, if they think badly of you, it’s their problem, not yours.

Second, you are the master of your thoughts, so you can choose what thoughts you want to adopt for yourself. You can choose to respect yourself, to think of yourself, to assert yourself, to listen to your needs. If the person in front of you does not understand it, it’s his problem and it’s a safe bet that this person has an injury to settle with itself.

A need to feel useful and loved

Some people say yes to everything because they need to feel useful and feel that otherwise they will not be loved. If you are part of these people, ask yourself the question:
Do you want to feel loved because you are a good pear?
Or do you want to be loved for who you really are?

Those who are close to you because you are good pear, do not really like you, do not like you for who you are but use you. By becoming who you really are and therefore putting barriers when you do not want something, sorting between those around you and those around you for who you really are, will quickly happen.

It may be painful at first but it will only be good for you. The others are toxic relationships. 

Say “yes” to everything and all the time, what consequences?

If you read this article, I presume that you want to get out of this vicious circle and that you have already seen that saying yes to everything and all the time, does not bring that good, quite the opposite.

Indeed, saying yes to someone when you want to say no, is absolutely not nice. This creates weight for several reasons because in this case:

  • Actually You do not assume and respect who you are
  • You do not respect your needs, what you think is right for you
  • Also, You crush in front of the person in front of you, which further lowers your confidence in you
  • You force yourself to do something you do not want to do without the other person noticing because you have agreed.

Saying yes to everything, to everyone, all the time will become in the eyes of others, “normal”. They will not even be aware that they are always asking you for something and what it means to you. It will be obvious to ask you and not someone else, out of habit and ease. And the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for you to say no, and the more you’ll be afraid of people’s thoughts and reactions. Afraid that you believe that you have changed while on the contrary, you finally become yourself!

Having this habit of saying yes while it is no can quickly pollute the life.

 How to say “no”?

First, I’ll tell you something. You have the right to say no! It’s your right to refuse an invitation one night because you feel the need to stay alone and take a hot bath, to say “no” to your boss who asks you for a task that is not in your attributions. You have the right to refuse something!

You do not have to justify yourself! If you do not want something, it’s your right, it’s your choice, your life!

Share your wishes, your choices. On the other hand, if the person in front of you gets angry, takes it badly, do not try to justify you, it will not serve anything except make you feel bad and “lowered”. The person is, in this state, not ready to hear your reasons, your choices, your desires, she in a position where her ego has been touched and makes her react.

If the person opposite is not ready to hear your “no” and reacts violently, let it speak and most importantly, do not feel guilty, it does not come from you. It’s not the fact of saying “no” that makes the person react like that, hurting her. If the person in front of you is hurt because you’ve made a legitimate refusal, because you respect yourself, that’s her problem. Your “no” will then reveal in her an injury to work, it is even rather a service that you give him to have helped to highlight one of his injuries. Because it is once brought to light, that one can identify and heal wounds. So a person who is not open to discussion and is not ready to hear your refusal is his problem, not yours.

If you feel that you are not in a relationship of equals when you make a refusal, let go, it is not good for you. To assert oneself is not equal to destroy oneself, on the contrary. Unfortunately, we fall easily and often into this trap. By wanting to assert you at any cost against someone who looks down on you, you end up destroying yourself.


To conclude and summarize, I would just advise you to listen to you and stay in tune with your needs, your values.

The next time someone asks you or proposes something, take a moment to answer, and feel what your body says, your heart. Is the feeling you feel a yes or no? If you feel a pleasant sensation in your body, relax and feel joy, the answer is a yes. If the body tenses, your solar plexus hangs (you know, that ball or pressure that is formed at the solar plexus) is that the answer is no. Your body has the answer before your mind and does not lie, that’s why it’s good to listen to your body.


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