The Hidden Power in Saying No

Chelsea 2By: Chelsea Ware

This upcoming fall quarter will mark my last year at Portland State. The combination of summer classes ending and receiving graduation notices from PSU in my mailbox have been making me reflect on what I have learned during my time here.

The multitude of classes I have taken have allowed me to expand and develop in ways I didn’t expect. One of the biggest skills that I have gathered is how to say “no” to certain people and requests. I think that society, and women in particular, are to taught to please and say “yes” even when that little voice in our head is screaming for us not to. We put ourselves in situations that cause anxiety and stress just so we can try to avoid looking bad and disappointing other people.

However, you can never be productive if you take on a burdensome amount of commitments and responsibilities. You end up spreading yourself too thin and unable to get anything done well or on time. It’s simply not good for either party when one agrees to requests that they can’t or shouldn’t do.

It takes guts to say it, but when used wisely, “no” can be an instrument of honesty and autonomy while also acting as a shield against burnout and angst. The power and beauty of “no” lies in its ability to set limits that define how we respect and see ourselves. “No” keeps us true to our values and allows us to devote time to things that we sincerely care about.

So try it sometime! I’m sure you will feel your backbone and confidence get stronger.

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