From the moment we are born, our programming begins concerning what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’. We grow up equating all positive feelings with ‘good’ and all negative feelings with ‘bad’. As time goes by our distinction continues to become stronger, when we see movies, drama serials, we always want the good guy to win and the bad guy to lose. Consequently, we start seeing people as the ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ in real life too. Needless to say, we all want to be the heroes, the good guys and none of us wants to be the bad guy. Perhaps, this inherent need, to be good makes us shy away from the word ‘no’, which most often means denying someone something. We always want to be seen as the ‘accommodating’, ‘helpful’ good guys, so how can we bluntly displease people, deny them what they want and become the formidable bad guy?? Of course we cannot and often we cross the line of reason to prove how good we are, because we never say ‘no’. Below are just some of the reasons why, it’s important to muster up some guts and just say ‘No’.
1. It Makes You Look Weak
A person who is always obliging and a ‘yes’ man/woman often ends up compromising their ‘value’. People interpret it, as a weakness, for someone who can’t refuse others, it is given they will be agreeing to do things sometimes, at their own cost and convenience. People can see through their desperate need to please others. And most often than not, they will be taken advantage of. On the other hand someone who can say ‘no’ when they need to, will command a certain respect, because people will see them as strong enough not to be a pushover. They will not be bending over backwards to pave the way for others.
2. It is Unfair
When you are swamped with heaps of work and a colleague comes in asking for help with some particular thing. Instead, of telling them your plate is full, you just smile and say ‘I will just look into it’. It is simply unfair. You over-commit when your inner voice is saying, ‘Oh crap, how will I manage this?’ Your colleague, by now likely have their hopes pinned on you to assist them. They had no clue, what you were thinking inside, yes sometimes apparently, they might see stacks on your work desk indicating that you do have a lot to do. However, your smile and willingness perhaps made them believe that you can manage. So by the end of the day, when you fail to keep your promise you have actually done injustice to them, letting down a colleague who believed in you. And to yourself too, as in your over-niceness you had probably been pre-occupied with thoughts of their work too, hence not completely concentrating on the tasks that you were originally assigned to do.
3. It Can Lead To Distrust
A natural consequence of injustice will be distrust. The colleague that trusted you with a certain work, your failure to meet up with their expectation will make them think twice before coming to you next time. You will lose credibility. Pleasing people to eventually lose your reliability becomes counter-intuitive. What you do not realize, is that saying ‘no’ is not always a bad thing. It doesn’t have to mean telling people off. Rather it could do them good; the colleague banking on you could have gone elsewhere and saved up on precious time. Better still, by trial and error they could have learnt to do the task themselves.
4. You Might be Termed a Liar
When you over commit once or twice, you might lose your dependability factor. But if you habitually undertake things that you can’t bring to fruition then, people will start dubbing you as an outright liar. Even if you are well intentioned, a handful of people who are aware of your weakness might understand that but not everyone will. A new boss who repeatedly sees you falling short or a new neighbor, who you have been promising to show around town but you could not, as you were right up to your elbows, will learn not to trust you from the very start. And I think we all know of a notorious friend who says, she will call back but never does. Well, all those broken promises and unexecuted commitments, register in our minds as lies. So had you just told your friend that, “I am busy I can’t talk right now” she would not have kept on waiting pointlessly for that call to be returned. Or saying to your boss “I have too much work already, I might not be able to do justice, to more”, may not have cost you your job, which you assumed saying ‘no’ would have. And as for the new neighbor, tying them up with another less social neighbor, who probably had the time and willingness but was too shy to initiate, could do have done both of them good. People appreciate the truth, but an inability to say ‘no’, can make them lose confidence in your honesty.
5. It Can Cause Frustration
When you take upon yourself copious amount of work, often you end up doing none of it well. As more work piles up, the previous is left either incomplete or carelessly done. And people, who should have been appreciating you, instead accuse you of sloppy work. This leads to major frustration. You feel resentment towards them, for how many opportunities did you miss in the quest, of just pleasing people? You didn’t find time to work on a potential business idea that could have materialized, you put off your family time and worked over hours, you delayed the much needed manicure, only to hear criticism?? At such times, you feel like pulling all your hair out (if you have any) or just pounding your fists on the wall. You blame the people you committed to, you blame lack of time or you just sink in to depression and blame yourself for never measuring up. When all you needed was to say the words ‘no’, ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t be able to’. It was just as simple as uttering these words but we see them, as a sentence for being termed the ‘Bad Guy’ forever. Maybe next time when we are faced with a situation to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, we should carefully evaluate, why we should be answering in the negative or positive, instead of completely eradicating this word ‘no’ for others, from our dictionaries. Is it really good for them and for us??