It’s almost like a dirty word, isn’t it? I’m not exactly sure how, when or why it got to be like this, but since when did saying no become so taboo in our society? Many, if not most of us, are completely overdone with regards to our workload, schedules and daily activities as it is. We’re exhausted and pretty much fall into bed each night, often dreading what is to come the next day, and yet for some odd reason when someone asks us to do something, even if we have zero interest or time to do it, we somehow manage to find ourselves saying yes.
Why Saying No Matters
Saying yes when you really want or mean to say no can lead to feelings of bitterness, regret and even irritation.
It’s almost like there’s a battle raging inside of us. We desperately want to say no, we try to say no, we give hints that we don’t want to do something (some of them ridiculously obvious), and yet people will still try to push us to do things we really don’t have any interest in doing. And so against our better judgment, we give in and agree to do things we have no business taking part in. The problem? Not sticking to our guns and saying no can cause “internal conflict;” we wish we could have, would have and should have said no, but because we didn’t, we feel regretful and end up having sour feelings towards the event, project or person we feel “duped” us into getting involved.
Agreeing to do things we really don’t want to do can lead to problems keeping commitments and reaching personal goals.
Not putting your priorities at the top of the list can interfere with your personal development and growth. As a whole, our society prides ourselves on being busy and having no time to do the things we really want to do. Think about the average conversation you have with your friends, colleagues, neighbors etc. Is it just me (and I should admit I am totally guilty of this as well), but do we or do we not often focus the conversation on our busy schedules and how tired we are. It’s almost like we try to “one-up” each other with our “over-doneness”…which would be fine except for the fact that many of us are completely miserable because of it. And yet we somehow keep plugging along without stopping to make the changes we are so desperately in need of.
Not saying no can also lead to frequently being late or just barely making it to places on time.
You might recall the article I wrote last year called, “What’s the Rush” about a true phenomenon known as hurry sickness. This is defined as: A behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.” In other words, chronically rushing or hurrying is in and of itself a form of stress. Constantly saying yes and overscheduling yourself can make it difficult for you to get to places on time and in effect add more chaos to your already over-stressed lifestyle.
Does any of this sound familiar? I’m pretty sure it might, as many of my clients admit to having a hard time saying no on a fairly regular basis. In other words, if this describes you or your current lifestyle, trust me, you are certainly not alone. As I mentioned, not saying no can actually wreak havoc on your life and your health. And like I’ve said in the past, eating well is extremely important, however it really is only part of the equation. You can balance your meals and eat all the real food you like, but if your lifestyle is disorganized and your stress levels are out of control, healthy eating will only get you so far.
Read Part 2 Here.