No is NOT a Dirty Word

August 24, 2016


It is almost the end of summer here in Kitchener-Waterloo as 2 weeks from now school starts again and “normal” life resumes.  We will all go back to our routines and schedules which for people who are generous, caring and compassionate it also means and increase in requests for assistance from friends or family and more invites to events.  Which results in having to make choices about how you spend your time.  Sometimes it is a struggle to say no and you end up agreeing to everything which might cause you to feel frustrated, overwhelmed or guilty.

Top 4 reasons it is hard to say no:


I don’t want to be selfish

I will hurt the other person’s feelings

I do not have the right to say no to them.

It will damage our relationship


Saying no is not a rejection or a punishment of the other person.  The word no is actually a gift to them.  Think about the last time you were somewhere you did not want to be.  How did you feel?  How did you act?  When we say yes, when we really want to say no, it changes our attitude and our participation level and ends up taking away from the relationship instead of adding value. 


It just takes a moment to determine if you should say yes. Taking a quick moment to and breathe while you contemplate if you have the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual reserves to give at that time.  Think of it like a bank and we have 4 separate accounts: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.  When we hang out with friends, participate in activities, work – basically as we go about our daily life those accounts go up and down based on the activity.  When one is depleted we need to step back and do something that will increase those reserves and limit activities that would drain you even further.  Therefore, this is when no becomes the best possible answer.  Then when your reserves are filled you can say your best yes – the one without any negative feelings – and be an enthusiastic participant.


This all sounds easy when reading and article but I realise it is not easy to do without a strong support system around you who affirms you when you make healthy choices.  It also becomes harder when you have people in your life that expect you to say yes and play guilt trips on you when you choose to say no.  If you are struggling with this find a friend that can be your encourager.  If you require training to help you verbalize your best yes, we are here to help.


I hope you all have a safe and fun rest of your summer.


Trish Pauls

Registered Psychotherapist

Please reload

Recent Posts

February 10, 2018

Please reload


Please reload