Be it during our carefree teenage days or the deep-in-work adult days, the only thing that is the cause for half of our problems is the inability to say no to others, especially friends and relatives. Be it for a party, or doing a favour for a friend who called in sick, we always tend to push our limits for the people we love and take the other route to get their work done.
Why can’t we keep it simple and say no to friends? What is it that holds us back? Well, after pondering upon the question you will come out with one of the few possible answers: the fear of disappointing a friend, our desire to be regarded as a team player, regrets of someone calling us selfish, the fear of being avoided by friends, in order to seek attraction, responsibility and trust and the famous reason “what would others say”?
How do we manage to say no to friends is not as difficult as it may seem. Now, since you have laid hands on the root cause of the problem, finding a solution shall be easy. You have to prioritize your goals in this selfish world. Second thing is, shortening your friend circle. If you have a wide friend circle and everyone likes you, there has to be something fishy! Not everyone can like you and comply with you. Although there is no harm in caring for others but it should not mean compromising your own needs for the sake of it.
Just because you fear that you will be missed out of the group, you should not act as a speechless submissive. If your friends cannot understand your needs and priorities over theirs, are they even good to be called your friends?
You need to be bold and be guarded. Running and avoiding the situation might seem to be easy, but confronting the situation would make your stance clear. You should be wise and turn down your friend politely. The first notion of ‘no’ from your side would make the subsequent denials much easier for you and much more acceptable for your friends.
Saying ‘no’ to your friend is not any science! You don’t need to give any explanations or start a debate since it can lead to misinterpretation of your stance. Just the word is enough for letting the people know. Just one word shall be enough for you to assert yourself; you don’t need excuses further. If you are not available for anything at the moment, it is better to state the fact flatly, instead of explaining the situation. It would develop your own dignity and remind you of your own precious individuality. However, your repeated ‘yes’ would only land up in a situation when everyone starts taking you for granted.
The bottom line is, you should draw a line for yourself. If you cannot go across that line and help your friend, don’t even try. Your boundaries should define your existence and you should also make your friends understand them.