Why Saying “No” is an Act of Self-Care

I have a hard time saying no. This is something I am currently working on, and will probably continue to work on. It’s an interesting concept, at face-value it can seem simple and straight forward. In my mind it makes sense to say “no” to things I don’t enjoy, don’t want to or don’t feel like doing—but really, its much more complicated than that. So, even though this is not something I have mastered, I felt that sharing my thoughts and experiencing with this could be a good way to start a conversation. If you are reading this I hope that you reflect on your experiences with saying “no.” If you’re good at it PLEASE share your thoughts/tips. I need help!!  


I am a people pleaser, I have this irrational thought that if I say “no” to people they’ll be mad or annoyed at me. This is in all aspects of my life, work, friends, family, teachers. Everything. Honestly, it can be really overwhelming.  I am scared to say “no”, I’ll beat around the bush, I’ll avoid interaction in order to avoid potential situations where I might have to say “no.” It’s pretty bad. If I do decide to say “no” my heart begins to pound a little bit faster and I take my sweet time typing out a text message apologizing, explaining, and attempting to rationalize my choice. Although most of the time people don’t really deserve an explanation. 

ThIt took me so long it come to the realization that saying “no” is OK. Although it is something I still worry about and sometimes ‘stress’ over I have learned that saying “no” is actually a pretty big act of self-care. I hesitate saying “no” to people because I worry that they’ll be mad at me, or annoyed at me, or disappointed in me. I am sure that is all irrational, but for me it is something I struggle with. I will say “yes” because I think it makes other people happy, not because it makes me happy. To read more about self-care click here.  

Sometimes we have to say “no” in order to take care of ourselves. I have found myself in situations where I feel like saying “yes” in order to avoid conflict or upsetting an individual. But, inside I know that I don’t want to say “yes.” In those situations I’m not saying yes to make myself happy, or to connect with my higher self. Instead, I am giving the power and control to someone else, because I am putting my happiness and needs second. Sometimes, I just want to say “no” so I can stay home and lay in bed in the dark with my cats. #realtalk

For me, saying “no” in general is progress. I can remember in high school I would say “yes” to literally anything that teachers asked me to do/participate in. Probably because I was looking for approval, but anyways, that’s a topic for another day.

I have found freedom in saying “no”, rather than saying “yes” out of guilt or fear. I have learned to say “no” through listening to myself and my true intentions. I don’t feel obligated to work 24/7, to hang out with friends/family when I’m exhausted, or to even leave my house. It still takes a lot of reassuring myself that I am not annoying or upsetting others. Sometimes, I just have to acknowledge that is a potential reality. That by saying “no” I could be annoying someone, I just remind myself that it is OK to annoy or frustrate others because, in saying “no” I am taking care of myself and listening to what my soul desires.

Saying “no” is a way of honoring yourself and giving yourself (as a whole) the time you need to rest, relax, reflect. I get SO caught up in my busy, hectic, yet amazing life that I forget what it’s like to take things slow. Sometimes I just wear myself out to the point that I cannot give myself to anyone or anything else, and I have to say no. I have to say no because that’s what my soul needs. I can’t base my decision off of assumptions I make about those around me. I can’t say “yes” based on the thoughts/feelings/needs of others. It is okay to say “no” because its what YOU need.

We’re pretty smart people and if we can take the time to listen to our thoughts and feelings, we can usually make a decision that reflects that which is why I feel that learning to say no and saying no frequently is an act of self-care. Leave a comment with your thoughts on saying “no”. Once again, if you have any tips or tricks to this PLEASE let me know!! Ya girl needs help, I’m a work in progress.

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One thought on “Why Saying “No” is an Act of Self-Care

  1. Pingback: Avoiding Burnout |

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