geeta book

Geetanjali Arunkumar is an Indian American author whose book, ‘You Are the Cake’ is available on ( photo)

Sometimes I feel trapped in my own thoughts. In my head, I can hear myself saying no, no, no, but I blurt out ‘yes’. Are you the kind of person who likes to please everyone?

I was a pleaser and always said yes until I learned that I was doing it to be liked and not cause disappointment to others. But what about how I felt? Over time I have learned to say yes but also have learned at the appropriate times to decline in a courteous manner.

We all want to be liked and accepted by others and are scared to disappoint by saying no. But what are you really doing; you are being agreeable to please them, but unfortunately not being true to yourself.

We are taught as children that saying no is mean, rude and inappropriate. On the other hand, yes was the likable appropriate answer which brought about acceptance. What happens to us when we say no, we tend to feel that guilt and shame of not saying yes and we tend to feel rejected.

A valuable lesson for you to learn is that you are worthy and have a choice to make with saying yes or no in accordance with the situation in a polite manner. Are you the kind of person who is continuously worried about the opinion of others and what they will think when you say no?

Next time you are in a situation where you want to say no, say it in a polite manner so as not to hurt the other, but still, be authentic to your thought and situation. Remember to let go of the guilt associated with saying no.

Here are a few ways and examples to say no:

I have noticed that when I had said yes many times, I really wanted to get out of the situation and then had to come up with a lie which made it worse for me as I was burdened with more guilt.

Be brief, not too brief and gentle, not curt.

Letting people know why instead of just a straight-up no, helps explain the situation and ease their mind.

Bad example: No, I cannot come.

Good example: Thank you for thinking of me for the vacation but unfortunately I am busy in that slot of time. But do be in touch. (Here you are not telling them what you are doing in the slot of time and you do not have to.)

You can blanket it with a compliment or a bit of kindness

Reassure the person with a few words of kindness but again you do not have to give a long explanation.

Bad example: No way, that will be too much work for me!!!!!

Good example: Your idea about wanting to have a party in my backyard is great, but at this time it is not a great fit for us.

How about giving the reason to clarify the situation.

Letting people know helps them know why and being candid with an explanation, reassures them that you have a valid reason.

Bad example: No time to help with your project. Too busy.

Good example: Sorry but I am busy with a project deadline and unable to assist you at this time. All the best.

Now it's time to laugh with Mickey Mouse saying NO (

(Geetanjali Arunkumar is an Indian American author. Her book,

‘You Are the Cake’ can be purchased here:

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