Mental health has been a primarily taboo topic over the years. Fortunately, the discussions surrounding mental health in the Jamaican space have increased. It may not necessarily be where we would want it to be, but it has made some great strides into the discussions locally. One aspect of our mental health that I feel is often overlooked, though, is saying no. For this reason, I deemed it necessary to do a two-part series entitled: The Art of Saying No.
Why is it important to say no?
First and foremost, it is great for your mental health. Mastering the Art of saying no very important to have dominion over your space and life and saying no affords you that. At all times, you should be the driver in your journey. Saying yes to people when you really prefer to say no places you in the backseat. You have given up your autonomy and have now become a passenger in your own ride. Agreeing to anything that you would rather not do has so many rippled mental effects. This can lead to induced anxiety and mental exhaustion from overextending yourself to do something you would really rather not.
Saying no does not make you mean or a bad person. If people are offended by you saying no then they do not respect your boundaries and your relationship. Setting boundaries is a part of self-care, at least that’s what I like to think. The answer is no because I do not think I am equipped to deliver on your request, so I do not force myself to. I am saying no so I can gauge your expectations of me and our relationship, whether it be professional, romantic or platonic, going forward. I am saying no simply because I feel it is the right thing to do. If you cannot respect my no, it simply means that I need to disassociate myself from you because you are trying to manipulate my decisions and disrupt my peace of mind.
We often overlook how fundamental saying no is to having healthy relationships, to personal development and most importantly, to our mental health. It is very important to be true to yourself and others. The seeds of trust, honesty and support are core foundation principles in any relationship. So, when I tell you no, trust me by accepting my no and giving me the benefit of the doubt that I am being honest. Be understanding and support me in my no.
Don’t cheat yourself! Know your no and stick to it. Stay tuned for part-two of The Art of Saying No series where I share my several ways of saying no.