If you don't know the power of no, now you know!
No, I didn't spell the title of this incorrectly. I hit the spell check. I double read. I typed, and MEANT the word no. Allow me to explain.
Why do we fear saying the word no? The word can be powerful. You can certainly understand why HEARING the word no can be fearful to some. Because hearing the word 'no' - SUCKS.
Hearing the word 'no' sometimes means that you are not getting what you wanted. Hearing the word 'no' may mean that something is awry in what you have just said or read, and now you must accept the fact that you may be wrong in what you have just said or read. When you are on the receiving end of the word 'no', you're left feeling uneasy. You have often have questions after hearing the word 'no'. But you get over it, and move forward. Sometimes with a new perspective or outlook.
We should be able to SAY the word 'no', and not have that awful feeling of regret when we say it. But because you know the power of the word 'no', and how it feels to be on the receiving end of the word 'no', you are reluctant to say it, but why? Is it because you fear what comes after the word 'no'?
Sometimes when we say the word 'no' we feel the need to add an excuse or a reasoning for WHY we are saying the word 'no', when in reality - why does it matter?
When you say 'no', you draw a line in the sand. You are taking a stand for yourself, for your opinion, for your belief, or for your own personal mental health. But when you say it - you MEAN it, and therefore don't need to elaborate to anyone other than yourself why you said the word 'no'.
You could literally say 'no' to anything you want to in life. I mean that LITERALLY.
Let's not get silly here, you of course have to be prepared to take responsibility for whatever comes AFTER you say the word 'no'. For example if a bill collector calls you and demands payment for a loan, you can certainly say 'no', but you aren't free from the consequence of interest penalties or legal action from the person who wants their money back. But if someone invites you to a get together and it's not going to jive with your schedule, or you're just exhausted from a day of work, or maybe you just want to spend time with your own self for an afternoon or evening.
Say 'no' to those dinner plans without feeling like you have to justify your decision to say so. On the flip side of that - if someone tells you 'no' - respect their decision, simply say "okay", and process the "why" on your own time. Because the reason they said no is quite frankly has nothing to do with you at all, it has to do with them. So don't take it to heart.
Make sure you don't get carried away with saying 'no' to the point where you become a mindless blob, sheltering yourself from the outside world and reading conspiracy blogs in your basement wearing a tin foil hat. Obviously an EXTREME example, but you get the point. Don't withdraw from everything.
Furthermore and on top of that - if you KNOW someone who has been SAYING 'no' more often than usual, and are withdrawing from life and you feel concerned, don't be afraid to reach out that person immediately and bring it up to them. They may be feeling down and you can use that as an opportunity to take their saying of the word 'no' to let them open up about something. People that start saying 'no' out of the blue for no reason could be a sign of a bigger problem, so make sure you go with your gut and check on a friend who is avoiding life.
Like anything in life, moderation is key, but my advice is to use the word 'no' without regret more often. I think you'll find it liberating.
If you say the word 'no', and it makes YOU feel better, and it gives YOU relief and the ability to take a pause in life, or in a situation, then take a deep breath and just say the word - 'no'. Don't worry about explaining yourself afterwards, because doing so only qualifies how someone else feels. And when you say 'no', you qualify YOUR feelings.
Isn't it about time you started putting YOUR feelings first? That's something you can NEVER say 'no' to.