Is 'NO' such a bad word?

Most of us are scared to use this word thinking it to be bad. It has been instilled in us since childhood, Saying 'NO' is considered to be wrong. When did we forget the art of saying 'No'?
I am sure most of us at the age of two were quite capable of doing so, did we forget it as we grew older?

We have been taught to be people pleaser's, whether we like it or not, we want to avoid the anxiety the word 'NO' will cause and hence we land up with too much on our plate.

Self Help Gurus might call this low self esteem or a sign of weakness but I believe it is inherent nature in us to be agreeable and try to fit in.

How many times have you been asked for a favour by a friend or relative and you wanted to refuse but you did not?

1) Friends expecting you to always be there for them.

2) Relatives making excessive demand of your time.

3) Your boss wants you to handle additional work because your colleague is off on a holiday and you are already working late hours.

4) Pushy people asking for too many favours.

5) Fending telemarketers and annoying phone calls.

The simple word 'NO' is sometimes the most difficult to say. I find it difficult to say it too and most times not to feel guilty for refusing someone I end up holding bad end of the bargain.

I am learning to say no without being rude or angry but sometimes I wish life had a 'IGNORE' button just like Facebook.

What has been your experience, can you say 'NO' to people?  If you can, do share your pearls of wisdom with me.


  1. ohh I know how tough it is to say no... and if you dnt what kind of soup you can get it...
    learning to say no... but without mush succes... :P
    nice poat...

  2. :) yes it sure is a tough call to say no cos somehow it is linked to our self esteem..

  3. Saying No is very hard but sometimes you have to do it. For self preservation or even for the sake of the other person.
    Yup, I agree we always teach our kids not to say NO!! Trust me I hear enough No! every day here :)
    After reading this, I have to think again when I tell my kids not to say it. When said at the right time, it is the most appropriate thing.

  4. Dont ask, the amount of trouble I have gotten into because I couldnt say NO.

    I am such a wimp.

  5. "I wish life had a 'IGNORE' button just like Facebook."

    ha ha life would have been much simpler ;)

    I think i fairly mangage to say NO except for few situations that is quiet uneasy to say no. Yes, learning to say a NO pleasantly could avoid many unwanted scenes and anguish later... moreover inability to say NO may have a snow-ball effect with people taking it as our weakness..

  6. I think most of the problems can be avoided if you say no at the right time. .

  7. Beautiful post LP :)
    I could totally relate to the thought that went in writing this post.
    I always had trouble saying "No" to anyone till I was new at the university. But my very demanding room-mates in the first two years of life at hostel taught me this important lesson.

    From then on, there has been no looking back, I have successfully crossed the barrier of hesitating to decline offers and also of agreeing to over-demanding responsibilities.

    Welcome to my world, where life is lot easier with a simple "No".

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  9. Nice musing LP! Even I have faced such situations. It is an art and not everybody can master it! But some people are so good at it, they will say a no and they will convice you that they are right in doing that! Should learn from them!

  10. saying "no" is an art that needs to be's tough at first but when you see how it makes life easier, you love it's had the power to simplify your life...saves you from torturing yourself!
    your post is a thinking post...I love they way you generate thought.

  11. Heard the song sab kuch seekha hamne na seekhi hoshiyari. I feel I never learned to say No and that caused many a probs for me. Yes for some it remains V difficult word. I loved your post.. food for thought

  12. Naah...I feel i am good at saying No...Dont think like you are being selfish but you are just avoiding being overburdened and that too in some specia;l cases..Try this..Thoda guilt kam hogaa ;)

  13. That's really a hard word! People asking favors. Okay, I have come across so many of these in my life. There was one time when I was asked by this guy to do his Assignment. I didn't use the NO!
    Maybe, using it all the time is the best alternative. What if we spoke in NO's? (Hey that sounds like Nose!)

  14. Sorry to be pimping my blog here, but you did ask to share :D

    Now let me hear your pearls ;-)

  15. Raj: All the best in your struggle to say 'NO' god bless my child and hope you gather the nerves.

    Magiceye: eh? are you a self help guru by any chance??

    Anju: hmmm I guess it is better to learn to say NO right from childhood..becomes easy to say No when you grow up.

    Avdi: Welcome to wimp world....we should start regular are not alone :)

    LR: Most times I feel politeness is considered as weakness.

  16. Rohan: I agree...I so agree..

    CB: I wish I too learn it fast...I am getting there..will be at that stage pretty soon :)

    Karan: I feel that saying NO though is hard, can be learnt and should be used for self preservation.

    Nalini: Thank you :) and I agree to make life easy we all should learn to say NO.

    Tikuli: Thanks so much...

    Nish: Thanks for your advice...will surely follow on that...

    Mr. Stupid: :) so say nose....hehehe

    Judy: Ah well...thanks for sharing....nice blog you have there :)

  17. Lol this reminds me of Karthik Calling Karthik.Well once upon a time when I was an innocent teen I used to have this annoying habit of never being able to say 'no'.Now I'm better. ^^
    And yes I think that sometimes it is absolutely necessary to say 'no'.

  18. There have been so many times when I have wished in hindsight that I had just said a no! In so many circumstances saying a No would have been much much better.

    The art of saying No is indeed one of most important ones in life.

  19. You HAVE to learn to say "no" in a corporate setting. Otherwise people will shove their work on to you!

  20. Good one. I try to say, "I would love to do it, unfortunately..." :-) It works...only sometimes!

    If you find an easier, more fool-proof way, let me kNOw :P

  21. I do think I'm a mean person when I say no..and I do say NO often..but I think that began after I became a team leader at office..that's when I learnt how to say NO to ambitiously stupid plans...But true, it's not something I enjoy..

  22. I have a tough time saying no to people. Later on I always think why the hell did I just refuse?

  23. Sorry, i meant "why the hell did I NOT refuse"

  24. Agreed saying 'NO' is difficult. But i feel it depends on the person you are saying to. If its someone close, you might not say No even at the cost of making yourself uncomfortable. As females we were reared to be soft spoken. But one must surely develop the art of saying No when its needed :)

  25. Samradita: Good for you...I am glad you can say No :)

    Smitha: Totally agree about that...most times we feel bad about hurting people.

    Anirban: It becomes easier to say NO to people at work as they are not friends..just colleagues.

    Chinkurli: Sigh! I think your approach is the one I would better ideas, yet...

    Deepthy: I know, you feel mean and petty but sometimes it makes me angry too, at myself :(

    Aparna: I retrospect I feel angry too and especially so when I see the same people saying NO to me when I ask for a favour...

    Abha: True...we have been taught not be aggressive or be rude...that is what hinders us into refusing when people ask us for favours...

  26. I dont have a problem saying 'no' becoz I am not here to win any popularity contest!!and I really dont give a damn:-)

  27. Sonali: Love your attitude :) will surely learn to be that way...taking baby steps...

  28. Have burned my fingers & learned the hard way but now I know how to say No!!!

  29. Smita: ahhh I have burnt my whole hand but just beginning to learn...

  30. No! is a hard word to say but I think I am getting better at it with age and experience. I just choose to be more giving and flexible with few people who are special to me but that's my choice ... to everyone else I politely say No! ... i have realized if I say the truth about how I feel without sounding defensive or rude ... it works out mostly in my favor! e.g. if someone asks me something I do not wish to share I say, " I am sorry I no not wish to share it 'coz is bothers me' ... Most people end up feeling guilty about bothering me and leave me alone. However if few shameless and persistent people I have to be more firm but then I do not fele bad about it coz they are shameless in the first place .. [Phew! Look at me I really WENT at this one .. :P] So now you know how I feel about it :P Hhehe

  31. I don't think it's a bad word, unless I'm the one hearing it. But anyway, you've a point. I just went to a relative's home and now she invited (special force) us for lunch and dinner tomorrow. And some gut sits your belly in saying 'NO'.

    Think I need to watch Karthik Calling Karthik once more.


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