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Setting Boundaries: How to Say ‘No’ Without Feeling Guilty?

Say No Without Feeling Guilty

.Is saying No a hard nut for you to crack? Well! You are not alone in this queue. There are more people like you who find it difficult to say no or define a boundary, thus allowing people to intrude in their personal space. It not only kills your mental peace and sanity but also leads to unpleasant consequences.

Saying No is an art. You don’t always have to be rude or engross yourself into guilt. There are better and more agreeable ways to say No, which we will discuss in this post. Let’s know them without any further ado.

Why Saying No Is Important?

The inability to say No indicates that you are no longer the master of your life. Knowing this, people will surely try to take advantage. Also, the people-pleasing tendency is not always good, and always saying Yes doesn’t strengthen your friendship or social circles. It only makes people start taking you for granted. On the contrary, saying No helps you gain better control and make choices for yourself. Furthermore, you can set boundaries and prevent people from making an undesired intrusion into it. Above all, it lets you value yourself more.

What Makes yes a More Convenient Response?

When you dig deeper, you will find that yes is a more convenient option than saying no. At your subconscious level, you are making a convenient choice. The below-stated points support this fact:

1: Upbringing

When children are taught not to deny their elders, they grow up with the idea of always agreeing to their instructions. They think that saying no is an insult to the adults. Besides, saying No sometimes attracts punishment or a negative repercussion.

2: To Avoid Confrontation/Arguments

Saying no sometimes becomes a cause of confrontation or an argument. People tend to avoid it, and therefore, Yes becomes a convenient response. Also, people tend to avoid the feeling of pressure or tension that arises after saying No.

3: People Pleasing Tendency

People Pleasing is a personality trait wherein people put others’ needs ahead of their own in order to gain their approval or maintain a relationship. It is termed “Sociotropy,” an overly concerned feeling to please others.

4: Sociability 

Sociability is a tendency that lets people seek out companionship and engage in interpersonal relations or social activities. It is truly said that man is, by nature, a social animal. They seek the companionship and approval of others. Besides, they also experience the fear of missing out on an interesting event and, therefore, avoid saying no when being asked.

5: Compulsive Consciousness

Human consciousness is made in a way that it is compelled to say Yes. It is a natural tendency that makes people think that saying Yes is a better option.

Practical Ways Of Saying No Without Feeling Guilty

Now that you are aware of the psychology of saying No, let’s discuss the practical ways to Say No, that doesn’t leave you guilty:

1: Be Assertive When Saying No

When you are clear and assertive, you feel more confident in saying No. Besides, people respect clarity and understand you. On the other hand, lacking clarity or making unnecessary excuses can make it worse. If you have to say no, just say it rather than knitting unnecessary excuses. 

2: Present An Alternate Solution 

Saying No doesn’t mean you are not willing to help. It’s just that you have some other work to look after. However, you can show a willingness to help by presenting an alternate solution. You may suggest a name who can help at a different time wherein you can assist. Make sure that you don’t need to compromise your plans when offering help. 

3: Keep Your Priorities Ahead 

When you keep your priorities ahead, saying No becomes easier. When saying yes to someone about something, make sure you have nothing in your queue. Also, you need to practice saying No to things that you like. Sometimes, you keep saying Yes to such things that are not right, but you enjoy doing them. Here, saying No becomes imperative. 

4: Practice It Like Any Other Skill

Saying No and being convinced that you have done it perfectly without losing balance can make you feel better. You may practice the hit-and-trial method to attain a situation wherein you master this art and feel comfortable saying No. 

5: Take Your Time When Responding

Take some time when responding to a request. As we have seen above, the men are naturally compelled to say Yes. In such a case, your prompt response to a request will be Yes. Therefore, you need to process the request and make a well-thought-out decision. 

6: Be Ready For Confrontation

Saying no doesn’t always work in your favour. People sometimes get adamant and try their best to convince you. When you don’t stand by your decision, you will end up agreeing to their request and doing things unwillingly. Therefore, you should be ready for the resistance. Also, your changed behaviour can be hard to digest for some, but you will have to take a stand for yourself, as no one else will do it for you.

Weak boundaries let people in even when you don’t wish it. If you find it hard to untangle this mental knot, seeking professional assistance can be helpful. Book a session with Reflect Within and get counselling and therapy related to your mental health.

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