Saying or Not Saying “No”!

Why can’t we say no?

Why do we need to say no in some situations?

Is it selfish to say no?

When we have to say “no” to someone in any situation, a lot of thoughts go through our minds. “What if he is taken now, offended, upset”, “if he thinks I don’t love him”, “if he gets angry with me” etc. and in the end, we convince ourselves not to say no by saying “oh dear, let me do it as he wants this time”. So, are the situations we call this one-time really limited to this time or have they turned into a repetitive pattern?

Before examining the concept of saying “no” individually, it would be correct to consider it in a social context. In our culture, it is a very accepted behavior to make concessions and try to please the other person in order not to offend people. In fact, people who are not like this are often seen as “selfish, thinking only of themselves”. When this is the case, “not being able to say no” is almost ingrained in our genes and it is quite normal for us to have difficulties in this regard.

When we examine it individually, there may be many reasons why people cannot say no. In general, the underlying causes are as follows;

  • Being undecided about what one wants and not being able to take a clear stance on the offer from the opposite.

  • Difficulty in determining one’s own limit and setting/protecting it against people

  • The need to please people outweighs the need to please oneself

  • Fear of hurting people

  • Worrying that if she says no, she won’t be liked by people

  • Believing that saying no is a bad thing and feeling guilty

  • Not being able to say no out of respect in situations such as authority (parent, boss, sometimes spouse if seen as authority), thinking that it would be disrespectful to show your own opinion and stance

  • Fear if I say no and then he says no to me when I need something.

  • Sometimes, to control the person in front of him, to do whatever he wants and to make him feel indebted.

You may not be able to say “no” to any of these motivations, or there may be a different underlying reason that is completely unique to you.

Why is it important to be able to say no?

First of all, it is very important for the individual to establish a balance between his own needs and the needs of others. The purpose of saying no is not just a model of a person who prioritizes himself and does not care about anyone around him. However, this is also a fact; First of all, a person should be aware of his own needs and try to meet them, otherwise, as a person whose needs are not met, he will not be of much use to the people around him.

There are those who know the oxygen mask announcement on airplanes, put it on yourself first, and then put it on your child. Why do we put it on ourselves first, because if we can’t breathe, we won’t be in a position to help our child or the person next to us who needs help. The mechanism and motivation of saying no is similar to this. In order to be good and help others, one must first be good. For this, it is very important to be able to say “no” when necessary, knowing their own limits. Especially in today’s society, it is not very possible to be able to do everything for everyone around us at all times, so it is our duty to know our own limits for our own mental health and to stay true to them.

Saying no is a skill to be acquired, the important thing is to discover why you can’t say no. After that, you can go over it and learn by experience that saying no isn’t really such a bad thing. If you can’t understand why you can’t say no despite all your efforts and you find yourself constantly compromising yourself, then it would be useful to get expert support to make this discovery and learn how to say no.

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