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Saying NO is quite a challenge to most people.
In the Philippines, my country of origin, one of the cultural values is giving importance to what other people will think or say. This has led to people-pleasing, not being true to one’s self, saying one thing when they actually mean another, putting up with less respectful or inappropriate treatment, suffering in silence and being resentful. More often than not, it has become a hindrance to effective communication and authentic interaction and living.
Women also, in general, seem to have more difficulty with saying no or saying exactly what they feel and want or don’t want. This has led to a lot of frustration on the part of the men. “So what’s your point?” is often what men (and even women) are thinking when women start beating around the bush.
I think most people know it’s ok to say no, or they know what it is that they really want. They just don’t know how. And because they don’t know how, instead of a “yes” or a “no”, they give a “maybe”.
Yet, life isn’t always black or white, yes or no. Sometimes, it is a maybe. And a maybe is just that — a maybe. We probably need more time to think or we need more data to gather. Just as a yes or a no is a good enough answer, so is a maybe. It’s really all about coming from our truth and speaking it.
Whether you’re of the female species or part of a culture that leans heavily on people-pleasing, click here to read the article, Words to Say When You Need to Stand Up for Yourself by Christy Matta, MA. She provides practical, common sensical, invaluable tips on how to get what you want and not allow what you don’t.
How to Say No Effectively by Dr. Jennifer Howard