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Why Saying No Can Improve Your Health And Life
Why We Have A Hard Time Saying No
The inability to say no is rooted in fear, of which there are two primary varieties.
Fear of Disappointing others goes back to prehistoric times. We are afraid if we say no to someone, we will disappoint them, and damage our relationship with them. Essentially, this fear is one of alienation. There’s also a tribal element to this fear as well: a primeval fear of being excluded from the group.
These are the people pleasers- those who can never refuse any request. Sometimes it’s motivated by a desire for validation and acceptance from others- a fear that these will be taken away if you don’t say yes. If you find yourself always saying “yes” out of feelings of guilt, you are also letting this fear guide your actions.
The other fear is the Fear of Missing Out. “FOMO” as it is popularly called, is when we convince ourselves that we will miss out on an opportunity or something cool if we don’t say yes. This is basically a form of a scarcity mindset; a worldview that is rooted in the belief that there’s not enough to go around, so we must get it while the getting is good- regardless of what “it” is.
We’ve already discussed how never saying “no” can lead to stress and stress-induced health complications. But think about what else happens when you choose not to employ this power. If you accept an invitation to meet friends for drinks when you’re too busy or tired, what happens?
During the social gathering, you won’t be at your best. You’ll be tired. You might be cranky, and you won’t have a good time because you forced yourself to go out when you didn’t want to. Not to mention the fact that in this state, you’re probably not that much fun for others to be around either.
Maybe you should have done your friends a favor and said “no” that night.
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