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You have the right to say “no”

“No” — it’s a small word that packs a lot of power. It carries with it an invisible force that can make it feel like an overly oppressive, or even a dirty word. It’s no wonder so many people are uncomfortable saying it.

But the truth is, when you say “no,” you’re not saying “I hate you,” and you’re not insulting someone, you’re simply exercising your right to say “no.” Because it is a right, not a privilege.

So, why do so many people have an issue telling someone else “no”? The truth lies not in the obvious — a need please — but rather in the fact that some of us have the tendency to put others’ objectives above our own. Our inability to say “no” just to reassure and make someone else feel comfortable is not only unfair to ourselves, but it can be unfair to the other person as well.

Disregarding our own feelings and needs seems like the unselfish thing to do. After all, we are taught to give, not take. But, just because it’s easier to say “yes” doesn’t mean we should. What if “no” would result in a better outcome for both parties? Saying “no” doesn’t have to mean you’re being self-serving.

Of course, if a hard “no” is still too difficult to say, there are other ways to state it. For instance: “I choose not to,” “not at this time” and “that will not work for me” are all different ways to say “no.”

In the end, remember, it’s your right to say no. It doesn’t mean you’re exercising some sort of immutable ego trip. It means you’re saying “no” — and that’s okay.

Header image ©Gajus/shutterstock
Article image © Family Business/shutterstock

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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