Some time ago, I embarked on a personal mission to become more assertive. I started practicing the idea that “no” is a complete sentence and my whole life got better for it. Putting your needs first isn’t selfish as long as you find the proper balance. Here’s how you can do it too.
1. CONSIDER WHAT YOU’RE BEING ASKED TO DO.
I’ll admit, at times I’ve said no to people just because I could. It’s important to think first, then respond. “Do you want to grab a coffee?” and “Do you want to babysit my kids?” may elicit different responses. Maybe you’re a caffeine junkie and a macchiato with a friend sounds amazing but you’d rather scoop your eyes out with a rusty spoon than babysit your cousin’s bratty twins. If you’re a person who routinely says yes to everything, considering what you want will be a foreign concept at first. Even if you keep saying yes for a time, at least think how it would’ve felt to say no.
2. SAY YES TO THINGS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO.
I know, this is a lesson on saying no, but you can’t have yin without the yang. If you want to go out for coffee or even if you want to babysit (no judgment) then, by all means, say yes! The point of saying no is to find happiness. Depriving yourself of things that make you happy is obviously not the right way.