While not an easy thing to do, being able to say “no” is crucial in many situations in your work and social life to preserve your mental health. 


While any “yes or no” question infers that there is an option to deny the request, being able to say no is still often much more difficult due to fear of letting others down or coming across as unqualified. However, saying yes too often can come with tremendous long-term consequences as well, as it often puts you in stressful situations that can only be managed for so long.

The first step to being able to say no, or at least put yourself in the correct frame of mind to evaluate your answer to a question is to be able to give your answer some time, rather than give an impulsive “yes.” Sometimes our fear of letting someone down in these situations, particularly at work, can force us into a predicament where we have too many obligations that we can no longer fulfill.

In this context, it is key to realize that saying “no” straight up is far more respectable than saying yes and being unable to complete your assignment or other prearranged plans. Tell your boss or whoever it may concern that you will have to check your schedule first before giving them a definitive answer, as this will give you more time to weigh the pros and cons of your decision.

Another mistake that people often make is they assume telling someone “no” will automatically result in massive conflict when in reality people don’t even always expect you to say yes in the first place. This is especially true if you have built up goodwill with the person and they trust your intentions. It is best to go into every situation assuming that your denial will be well-received because chances are if they are giving you an option it is somewhat expected in the first place.

Having the ability to say no will allow you to take control of your own life. While of course, it is smart to stay on the good side of other people, you will now have time to focus on what you truly know is beneficial for yourself. This will help you drastically in work, your social life, and much more.