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Do you find it hard to say ‘NO’ to people? We got a psychologist to explain why

Published on:15 October 2020, 10:49am IST
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, it can help you bring back your peace of mind.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Saying no is sometimes the need of the hour. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Have you ever said ‘yes’ under pressure, and regretted it soon after? Well, it’s not the easiest thing to say no. We understand that sometimes there’s really no way out to get yourself out of the situation, yet saying ‘no’ is the best solution to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check. 

If you willingly say yes, there is no problem at all. But if someone is forcefully saying yes, then s/he might struggle with its repercussions later. According to Shaina Vasundhara Bhatia, psychotherapist and counseling psychologist, “Not being able to say NO can be hard, and may even push you into a space where you’re exhausted in every possible way.”

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She adds, “It’s difficult to be in this position, because you always end up prioritising other’s needs and wants above yours, which in the long run isn’t healthy for you. It is arduous emotionally, mentally and physically.”

Why is it hard for some people to say NO?

Namrata Jain, psychologist & relationship counsellor, founder – Out Aloud,  shares a few reasons why people struggle to say no:

  1. Sometimes, people find themselves in a spot, and due to undue pressure, they have no other option but to say yes.
  2. At times, people feel that they owe it to the other person. “In a lot of situations, one finds it difficult to say no, only because they feel that the other person has done too much for them, and thus declining their request would be disrespectful to them,” says Ms Jain.
  3. They feel they will gain an image of being rude, selfish, and self-centered, if they say a no. Thus, they keep saying yes for approval from others, even when they’re uncomfortable.

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“There are certain people who find it hard to say no, just to please others without knowing that this will also impact their mental well-being”, says Ms Jain.

Talk to yourself to understand why you struggle to say NO or consult a therapist

According to Ms Vasundhara, they must try and understand why they struggle to say ‘no’. When they realise the reason, it is quite empowering for them. 

“There is something within you that shifts. The fact that you’re asking yourself this -means that there is a part of you, which realises that your needs aren’t met and that is a good place to start”, she explains.

You should understand that saying yes all the time can get too overwhelming for you at times. In fact, other people also start taking you for granted, and stop valuing you for what you really are.

“At times, you have to think what’s in there for you, if you say yes? Analyse whether saying yes will have negative implications on you or not? Evaluate why it is important to say yes in the first place? Then only commit to something. Trust me, saying no won’t make you a bad person at all. You owe this to yourself”, says Ms Vasundhra.

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She has a word of advice, “If you find it hard to resolve this issue, then I would suggest you visit a therapist and find a solution for yourself.”

So you see how saying yes all the time can be nerve-wrecking. That’s why at times, it is important to say NO for the sake of your mental well-being.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.