'No' - The magic word that is often forgotten

Written by
Chetana K.
What is the power of saying ‘No’? It will equip you with self-respect.

Often I found myself working hard to please those around me. I did everything in my capacity to try & keep everyone happy. Little did I know the fact that you cannot keep everyone happy. And guess what, it ain't your job. I feel it's a vicious circle. You exceed expectations by fulfilling all of their requests & then you continue slogging to please them some more. That someone could be your friend, your colleague, your family, or your boss. It's tough to get out of this mentality. Somewhere down the line, you start losing the value of your work. Gradually, you start losing your respect & appreciation for your efforts, whereas you will indeed be taken for granted.

You should learn to respect yourself. How do you do that? Start saying 'No.' This is the way of setting boundaries. If people get offended when you decline their requests, you know it's not your problem & in fact, you just saved yourself the headache of working with such people. Setting boundaries & saying 'No' will also help you to figure out your genuine well-wishers & friends! Of course, there is a way to do it. Instead of a harsh 'No' that a toddler throws at your face each day, you can say it elegantly. For example, if someone asks you to work on a 'small change' that won't take much time when you know your task board is already overflowing, just say the truth - "Unfortunately, I won't be able to work on it right away, since I have no bandwidth left for this week. But I will make sure to add it to my list for later." Done! Whatever happens next can be handled since you have overcome the most challenging part of denying the request. Why? Because there is only so much you can do as a human, & feeling guilty about it will only make you miserable.