Is it Selfish to Say NO?

Do you have trouble telling others NO?  A lot of us do.  It’s kind of ironic given that many of us spent our second year on earth uttering that very word rather emphatically and on a regular basis.  So what happened?  At what point did we begin to believe, on some level, that we need to say YES to too many things that are asked of us by others?  Did we say YES so we would be liked?  Did we do it because of the fear of what might happen if we actually said that tiny 2-letter word that hesitates on the tips of our tongues?

When we say YES all the time to others, chances are we end up saying NO to ourselves.  Things we hoped to do on our own behalf get moved to the bottom of the list.  We end up feeling exhausted, frustrated and resentful.  Often, we’re overwhelmed.

Now imagine this scenario flipped on its head.  Delivering a clear, concise NO to a request here and there would enable you to say YES to yourself.  Are there parts of you that you’ve been neglecting?  Address the things that are important to you.  Exercise your right to choose.  By being true to yourself about what you’d like to say YES and NO to, and behaving in accordance with that, you will notice that others will value you more for whom you are and what you are about, rather than what it is you do.

People will begin to appreciate more fully the occasions when you do say YES!

Take stock – check to see that your needs, responsibilities and priorities are being met and that something is not suffering as a direct result of your service to others.  If you believe you need to start saying NO once in a while, practice a phrase out loud that works for you such as “I’m sorry but my plate is full right now,” or “I’ll contact you when my calendar clears” or “Because I have several projects going right now, I won’t be able to give you my full attention…”  Find the phrase that works for you and feels right.

Saying NO isn’t easy, but it might be easier if you remind yourself of the flipside, what you’re saying YES to (time and energy for ______).

So, what do YOU think, is it selfish to say NO?  Feel free to share your thoughts..

Warmly, Laurie


Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.



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