10 years ago I was the kind of person who was afraid of saying no to other people whenever they asked me for help or doing something for them because I was worried about coming across as not being helpful, generous, or supportive. I sometimes had to devote my personal time to do it for others. One day I realized that I really needed to switch my thinking and learn to say no.
There was one day when I realized that the more I said yes, the less valuable I was. Why am I saying that? I went through several cases before I learned to reject, but I will raise only one case here. Prior to then, I am not trying to tell you to stop helping others or become a selfish person, which is a different thing. I just want you to be able to balance it. Before we can save others, we need to save ourselves first. You cannot give money to the beggar while you do not have even a penny in your pocket, right?
Several years ago, at work, I rarely refused to do things for others when they requested to me though I had to work late or on weekends for them. However, later on, they took my kindness for granted. They did not appreciate the sacrifices I made and nor did they acknowledge that I was doing them a favor, and it was not my responsibility. Well, I did not do it because I expected something in return from them. However, people, at least, had to understand they should make the helper feel valued or appreciated when that person genuinely helped them when someone else refused them.
People started to disrespect my privacy and making use of me for their own advantage. They would come to me whenever they needed me to do something, regardless of what time it was. The way they spoke to me when they needed help no longer sounded like a request but a demand. I felt like I was their assistant or servant, whom they could ask to do anything whenever they wanted to. Sometimes when I made even just a small mistake, they would blame me without hesitation. I felt like what? Was this what I deserved to do something for which I was not even responsible?
I also noticed that when I always accepted requests from others, those became my responsibilities. The more I put them in the first place without letting them know my difficulties, the less they understood me and valued my sacrifices. I eventually became in charge of something which was not mine and got nothing in return but demotivation instead of appreciation. I started losing my self-esteem.
Having experienced that, I told myself I needed to change that. I did some research about tips for learning to say no, and then I started practicing it. At first, it was really hard for me to do so because that was with me for so many years. People were not always happy with you when you rejected them, but we were not born to please others. I used to say to myself back then that if my colleague was gonna unfriend me just because I could not do a thing for them, I would not mind removing them from my friend list either.
Since then, I have learned when and when not to accept people’s requests as I also have my personal and work priority. I have started to respect my personal time more than I did before. I no longer care if I am well-liked by others. What I only care about is I can balance a good performance at work, good relationships with those whom I should associate with only, and quality time with loved ones. By learning to say no at the right time, I have found that people’s attitudes to me are better. They respect my privacy more, and they always politely make a request to me when they need my help after they already do their best. I have felt more valuable and gained self-esteem.
After all, I did not mean you should stop helping others. Saying no sometimes does not mean you are bad or unhelpful. It shows that you know how to prioritize things better, so you can achieve more and also let others understand your philosophy. You are gonna feel comfortable like I was before, but if I can do it, I am sure you can do as well. I also strongly believe that your true friends are those who will remain friends with you not only when you are beneficial for them. They will understand and respect you all the time. In short, be kind but do not let yourself become a victim of your kindness!
Thank you for reading. Sorry for my lengthy experience sharing. I just think it is worth sharing. If you like what I share, I should deserve a like and subscribe, right? kidding :D! Otherwise, you can just ignore it. See you in other articles!