Many of us find it difficult to say no to others. Even though it’s only two letters, saying no can be difficult; even complicated. Often, it asks for contemplation on whether or not a favor is worth your mental well-being.
If saying no feels difficult for you, you’re not alone. Social psychologist Dr. Vanessa K. Bohns writes in a 2016 research review examining people’s influence over others, “Many people agree to things — even things they would prefer not to do — simply to avoid the considerable discomfort of saying ‘no.’”
We want to keep our relationships as social creatures who want to be part of the herd. According to Dr. Emily Anhalt, a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Coa, an online mental fitness club, “we might blurt out yes because we don’t want to be seen as difficult.”
Saying no should be a normal and acceptable thing. After all, it helps us make room for our personal interests to rest and recharge, engage in social activities that we like, such as yoga, as well as create boundaries.
Phrases, such as “Ummm, I don’t know” and “I’m not sure” can open doors to people bombarding you with demands. This can ultimately overwhelm your mental health and make you feel like a doormat for everybody to walk on.
Make sure to include meditation as part of your routine for you to connect with yourself and your worth. You can always decline their demand respectfully and offer other alternatives to their needs. Thank them for considering you and give a brief explanation of why you can’t agree.
Community Mental Health (CMH) offers neuropsychology services to help you organize your thoughts and feelings.