We all live in a world that moves at warp-speed every single day, and it’s easy to become a passive “yes man” in all of this. We tend to overlook our own needs and principles and say yes to people just because of our fears.
We need that promotion badly, so we say yes to our bosses talking rudely to us for no apparent reason. We don’t want our friends to think we are alone, so we say yes to going out with people we don’t even like. We want to pay back our parents for their years of taking care of us and don’t want them to think we are rebellious ungrateful brats, so we say yes to them finding the “perfect match” for us, knowing that there is nothing perfect about their algorithm.
What actually ensues after all this is that we are left with regret, since a passive approach never leads to healthier life-choices. You become frustrated with your boss for talking rudely at the smallest opportunity while you never get that coveted promotion. You end up being in a toxic relationship with a person you can’t respect or love, and it’s even tougher to break things up and get back to square one all over again. You end up marrying a person your parents deem perfect for you, only to later realize he/she is nothing like everyone told you they were and voila, even more regrets!
If you are not saying NO to choices you know are wrong for you, you are inherently saying YES to decisions that will prove to be toxic for you in the long run. Just because your friends expect you to get hammered until you pass out in a party, and if you say NO, they might pick on you is no reason for you to go along with it if your belief-system doesn’t allow it. Just because your manager asked you out and you are afraid that if you don’t comply, he’ll sabotage your appraisals is not enough reason to not say NO! Just because someone asked you to stab yourself a hundred and fifty times, you don’t do it, right?
If you appear to be weak, people WILL take advantage of you. The world thrives on those who can identify the weak and the meek. And you will get absolutely squat in return for your compliance. Saying NO is the first step to making sure you respect yourself. You should know that you are worth better and are not going to compromise on things you don’t agree with. Only then will others really start respecting you and your boundaries.
So every time someone puts you in this position, remember to respect what you stand for. Say NO to things you know are wrong for you. Your first obligation is to yourself, and then to the world.