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Saying No

20 Jan

There are times when we are asked to do things we can’t accomplish or don’t feel comfortable with. Perhaps we don’t have the time to do what is being asked, or the request is something we don’t want to be involved in. And sometimes, what we’re being asked to do is something we simply can’t do because we don’t have the skills needed to accomplish it. When someone we love asks us for something and we feel we can’t comply, it may be difficult to say no. We want to help and we want to be supportive. But if we can’t do it, it’s worse to say we will and then disappoint others because we failed than it is to simply say no at the beginning. Saying no is more difficult for some of us than it is for others. We might feel that being cooperative is imperative in our relationships and saying no will damage them. But if the relationship is healthy and there is mutual respect, declining a request will not hurt. We can feel empowered to make the best choices for ourselves, even if they aren’t the choices others would have us make. We know what’s best for us and we are entitled to have it.

When we decline a request, in their disappointment others may employ guilt to try and make us change our minds. Guilt is very powerful and if we aren’t careful, it can undermine our decisions. But guilt is a self inflicted emotion. Nobody can make us feel it. People can say things to try and inflict it upon us, and do things to encourage us to change our minds. But if we’ve made a decision that’s best for us, we need not allow guilt to enter in. There is no reason to feel guilty for making a good choice. Good choices are the best we can do, and feeling guilty for making them isn’t necessary. If we remember that and focus on going forward truthfully and with a genuine spirit, we’ll make the best decisions possible.

Sometimes we may be asked to do things that make us very uncomfortable. For instance, being asked to lie for someone else, or manipulate situations to help another get the upper hand, or cheat to help a friend – all may make us uneasy. If we go along and compromise our values to please someone else, we may hurt ourselves in the long run. Happiness comes from being true to who we are no matter what situation we’re in. However, if the person asking intently pleads with us, it may be difficult to make the best choice. At times like those, it’s helpful to step back and see the situation objectively. We already know what the best answer is, and stepping back just a little will help us find the wisdom and courage to make it. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. It doesn’t matter who is asking us or what the parameters of the situation are. If we aren’t comfortable we can say no and move on. We can always make the best choices going forward.

Today if you’re being pressured to do something you don’t feel good about, you can say no. You are entitled to make your own decisions. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks you should do, you can do what is best for you. You know what you need to do and you know the right road going forward. Choose that and you’ll always be headed in the right direction.

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