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Self Improvement–Learn to Say No

Updated on October 23, 2012

Saying “NO” when people pressure us to do things which we do not want to do for reasons best known to us is an important aspect in life. The state of our happiness is affected by both internal and external factors. We become unhappy when we consent to do some of the things which we feel we should not do. It is a very crucial step to our being happy when we learn to say no to those people who ask us to do for them things that we do not actually want to do.

This is not an easy thing to do especially in instances where an individual is accustomed to often going against his/her own feelings in order to please others. It is our responsibility to stop doing this since no other person can say “No” on our behalf to things we do not want to do other than ourselves.

Nobody else can actually do some of those things including the person who is requesting you to do them for him. For example, your friend may request you to hate a person just because their friendship did not go well. Instead of accepting his request just kindly say to him you cannot do that. The person has not wronged you in any way and he should not make you to hate him.

When we experience love and happiness, we feel we have control of our lives. Others will respect you since they know that you are a principled person. If you do not learn to say no, then it reaches to a point where a person asks you to do something since he knows you will agree even if the thing is not only immoral but also against your will.


Such people having known that you always say “yes” to anything they ask you to do for them regardless of what you actually feel, they will ask you from time to time to do them anything they want. They count on the fact they are aware that you will experience some guilt if you say no hence they have a way of turning on your yes button. If you say 'Yes' when your inner voice tells you a big 'No' then you are letting guilt manipulate you and it is time you MUST stop such a pattern of behavior. You need to learn to be true to yourself and what you stand for.

It is really difficult to say no when we care about someone especially family members. And being that they know that you are the one they will ask for help or favor since they count on that fact, they then use it against your will. What they do not really understand is that you also have your own problems and that not every problem you are able to solve. They should understand that you are also struggling with life like any other person.

It takes practice to learn to say no and when you start practicing it you will have a feeling of empowerment which is a key to happiness. Here is a tip that you can use if you have a trouble of saying no to others.

The first thing in learning to say no, you need to write a list of all things that you consider a priority to yourself. This list should include things you need to be doing on a day to day basis. The next step is to write your activities of the next twenty four hours. If a person asks you something which is not on the yes list, say “No” to him/her. This illustrates to you the number of times you say yes to people in a day when you should be busy working on your priorities.

This tip teaches you on staying focused on our needs without the guilt of saying “No” thus bringing you happiness. I hope this tip will enable you see that you should put your happiness on priority so as to do what you want. You need to do your work first and once you have completed it then you can attend to what others want you to do for them.

Share your thoughts regarding saying no to others with us below.


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    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 5 years ago from Kenya

      @Ruth Pieterse, It is a powerful word but at times when things go overboard we have to use it. The word No will make others who are inconsiderate and unfair to understand that we too care about our well being. Not to misuse us in any way they want.

      I appreciate your comment.

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 5 years ago from Kenya

      @Sunshine625, I'm glad to hear you say this. You motivate me.

    • profile image

      Ruth Pieterse 5 years ago

      Very interesting. No certainly is a powerful word! Voted up.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I need to visit this hub more often. I could learn a thing or two!:)