How to Say No
You’re young. You’re bright. You’re driven. You’ve assessed the gift you want to give to the world, and you are ready to get out there and live your unique genius. When you look in the mirror, you see a good person blinking back at you. Or for our thespians, potentially making duckbill platypus faces. (We don’t judge. Platypuses are awesome.) There’s only one problem, and it has nothing to do with semi-aquatic mammals. Considering yourself a good person often means you have trouble saying no.
“No” can feel selfish. It can be uncomfortable or even painful to say, especially for highly-driven individuals who are used to giving everything their all. However, it is an essential skill to learn for young students harboring a clear goal for their future.
In their bite-sized video entitled “How to Say No,” Buzzfeed offers some suggestions to help individuals who find themselves constantly saying “yes” to the detriment of their dream, personal happiness, and even their health.
A good point one of the interviewees brings up is this: “People are used to hearing ‘no.’ I think that something we forget is that we think that everybody else in the world has said ‘yes’ and I’m gonna be the first person in the world to say ‘no’ to them. Everybody’s heard the word ‘no’ before. Everybody’s had to deal with rejection of some sort.”
Saying no isn’t easy, but it also doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you an evolving human being who consciously evaluates and appreciates how their time is best spent. And yes, there will be times where the right thing to do is help your friend move a couch up a five-story walk-up, and that’s fine. So long as the next time you see your goal getting consistently pushed and de-prioritized by saying yes to other people’s agendas, you have the clarity to graciously decline.
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