An Expert's How-To Guide On Saying No
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Student Life

An Expert's How-To Guide On Saying No

Do you fall victim to being a "people pleaser" because you just can't say no? I don't. Here's how.

An Expert's How-To Guide On Saying No

I am one of the most honest people I have ever encountered. When asked my opinions, I will give them, and if they are too harsh, I give them anyway. I don’t lie. I’m sure I’ve lied here and there, because everyone lies, but nothing comes to mind, just because I never have any cause to lie. I just tell it like it is.

So while many people may think this is a great quality, it can often be difficult, because people don’t always want to hear the truth, but one clear benefit of my painfully honest personality is that I have absolutely no problem with telling people no.

I will help someone out if they need it, and I often go out of my way to do so. I try to be a good Samaritan, I want to do as Jesus would do, I strive to be kind, do the right thing, but sometimes you just need to say no. Apparently many struggle with this word, which is a new concept to me, because I seldom personally encounter this problem, so I will share my wisdom with you.

Life is short – do what YOU want to do.

One of my favorite things to say is the somewhat childish, “I do what I want.” It’s my reply to many things. Have you studied yet? Are you going to do your laundry? Why haven’t you brushed your hair?Mac and cheese isn’t a dinner, Katie. But I genuinely mean it, and it’s something I live by. Now, sometimes I do things that I don’t enjoy, in order to achieve something greater that I want, like enduring studying so that I can graduate with a degree, or working out so that I can be healthy. But this mantra of mine is extremely effective when deciding whether or not to say no. Do I want to do this? Is there an end goal that I want to support? If the answer to both of these is no, then you should have no problem declining.

Do YOU have time?

Yes, maybe the person asking you for a favor is a lot busier than you are, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t busy too. A college athlete in the honors program double majoring in engineering and business with an internship and a job while also staying active in various campus organizations could ask you for a favor, but just because they really need help does not mean you need to help them. You have to have time for yourself.

Everything is not your responsibility.

This is something I struggled with at my summer job for a while. Co-workers would beg for someone to take their shift because they had another commitment and I would wait and wait and wait for someone to volunteer and then I’d swoop in at the last minute because if I didn’t take their shift then no one would. That was not my responsibility. It’s nice to help a friend out when you can, but when someone is negligent and continuously forgets to maintain a working schedule for their job, social, and family life, it is not your fault and therefore responsibility to help them out when their brother’s birthday dinner falls on their closing shift.

I guess I can understand how it might be hard for people to say no. I have struggled with it on occasion despite my usual ease, but ultimately once I make my decision that I don’t want to help, don’t have time to help, can’t help, it is quite easy to voice. So, when someone asks for your help, think it through, it’s your choice, and if you choose no, say it. It’s that easy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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