The Power of Saying NO

- Célia Jeandel

The Power of Saying NO

“No”, a short 3-letter word, has exceptional power. It contains an invisible force that can make it seem negative, even rude.


We are often taught that saying "no" is a negative thing , that it hurts those around us and causes us to miss out on important opportunities. Saying No makes so many people uncomfortable, steeped in the culture of acceptance and consensus.

But in reality, when you say "no", you are not communicating "I hate you", or insulting someone. You are simply exercising a right, that of saying “no”. Simply because refusing is an inalienable right , a freedom and in no way a privilege.

Youtube video "Learn to say no? Set your limits!" Chloe Bloom


So why do so many people have trouble saying "no" to someone else?

The truth does not lie in the obvious. First and often a need to please . Sometimes it's about exaggerated altruism : some of us tend to put the goals of others before our own. Because we want to reassure others and put them at ease, our inability to say "no" has a negative impact on us and those around us.

Not knowing how to say no is a notion that must be gotten rid of immediately. Being unable to say "no" is not only unfair to ourselves, but also to the other person.

Disregarding our own feelings and needs seems like the most selfless thing to do. Rather, we are encouraged to give, not to take. But just because it’s easier to say “yes” doesn’t mean we have to do it. Society, family, friends are sources of unconscious pressure that lead you to go through the motions. And remember : there have probably been times when you agreed to do something in your professional or personal life, and then blamed yourself or the person who asked you to do it. What did you feel ? Don’t you wish you could go back and exploit your right to say no? Because unfortunately it happens that this consent has serious consequences and... irreversible .


You have to know how to give yourself a moment to take a break , give yourself time to think, fully evaluate the situation and decide if it is really beneficial for you and for others is by far the most reasoned and beneficial option on the long term. Many are consumed with accepting everything , under the pretext of fraternity, charity, empathy or humanity, but also too often to respond to a need to belong, to a social norm, to a fashion effect or more simply to be able to identify with a group.

know how to refuse

What if saying “no” resulted in a better outcome for both parties? Not agreeing to something doesn't necessarily mean you're selfish. Let's say, for example, that one of your bosses asks you to complete a last-minute project over the weekend. You might agree to do this immediately, because you want to be seen as a member of the team, involved and responsible. But when you think about it, this hasty, almost impulsive idea has huge flaws. If you accept, not only will you waste your time working on a gas plant, a project that has not been properly thought out, but you will also not have time to share with your family and friends during the weekend. -end. Neither you, nor the boss, nor those close to you will benefit from this acceptance. The power of no can sometimes be beneficial for all parties involved.

Of course, if a resounding "no" is still too difficult to say, there are other ways to express it. For example: “I choose not to,” “Not right now,” and “This doesn’t suit me” are all different ways of saying “no” that aren’t as harsh.

Get used to refusing unwanted requests from others and feel more comfortable with your right to say no. Your fears, your doubts are your first cognitive shields, and contribute to the famous “first intuition”.

“When there is doubt, there is no more doubt.”

Be sure to stay consistent with your beliefs in each of your personal choices. Being in agreement with your beliefs, respecting your emotions, following your feelings, this is also what comes true.

Ultimately, remember that it is your sovereign right to say no , to grant consent. This doesn't mean you have to be excessively selfish. It just means that you are saying "no" because the proposed request does not suit your current situation or your beliefs - and that's fine!

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