Counseling Corner: Yes, sometimes it’s good to say “no”

Print Article

Yes, sometimes it’s good to say ‘no’

American Counseling Association

Most of us, most of the time, want to be nice, to do what is asked and to please those asking for our help. We usually try to be accommodating at work, with our friends, and with our family members.

But sometimes, rather than replying, “Sure,” when asked to do an inconvenient favor, or to take on a task beyond our abilities, it may make better sense to say, “No.”

It can often be difficult to just utter that simple “no.” We like to look responsible , helpful and capable. However, the reality is that saying “yes” to virtually every request can produce a variety of negative results.

Research has shown that the more difficulty someone has in saying “no,” the more the person is likely to experience stress, burnout and possibly even depression. Difficult requests are highly likely to make you feel frustrated or anxious, or even mad at yourself for saying yes in the first place.

The key to saying no is to do it in a respectful and courteous manner. It starts with understanding what your own boundaries are, and not being embarrassed to accept and follow those boundaries. When you see that a request is going to push you into a zone where you’ll feel uncomfortable or not fully competent, it’s important to make your feelings, and decision, clearly known.

Responding to a request with phrases like, “Gee, I’m not certain I can,” makes it clear that you are not being straightforward about your decision. That’s also true when your immediate response is to start apologizing or making excuses and explanations for why you can’t do what’s being requested.

Instead, first make sure that saying “no” is really the only alternative. Politely let the person know you would like to help, but first ask questions to clarify what is really needed. Perhaps there is a way that you can help that wasn’t evident when your aid was initially requested. But if it turns out that no really is the only right answer, then state your decision clearly. Let the person know you’re sorry you can’t help, but that it just wouldn’t work.

While we all want to be helpful, it’s important to recognize your own limitations, interests and capabilities. Stepping too far outside those comfort zones will leave you feeling anxious and frustrated, and probably won’t be the best help available.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Send comments and questions to ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit www.counseling.org.

Print Article

Read More Lifestyle

Counseling Corner: Don’t let alcohol get the best of you

June 19, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Yes, you enjoy that glass of wine with dinner, or a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon. Is this a problem? In most cases the answer is no, but for a growing number of people consumption of alcohol d...

Comments

Read More

Featured Flavors: Taking your mac salad from meh to mighty

June 19, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Taking your mac salad from meh to mighty By MATI BISHOP Every Summer I get an invitation from someone who is going over the top with their barbecue and wants me to bring a side dish to accompany ...

Comments

Read More

Lincoln County Public Health Nurse: Understanding vaccine ingredients

June 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News It is part of our human curiosity to inspect and question what we don’t understand. Only recently in our culture are people beginning to look more closely at the ingredients in the foods we eat, whet...

Comments

Read More

Counseling Corner: Making that car trip with kids less stressful

June 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Summer family vacations are fun, unless you count that part about driving to the vacation destination with a backseat filled with one or more unhappy kids. Children can possess a great sense of anti...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2018 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X