It is often hard for us to say no to a request - whether it's from our boss, relative, or a neighbor. Many of us feel obligated to say yes to everyone and everything, resulting in our lives becoming an unfocused mess.
One of the reasons that saying no is so hard is that we attach emotional baggage to our answer. No doesn't just mean no; it means I don't care about you, I don't like you, you're not important to me...The list goes on.
It doesn't have to be either / or.
Typically when asked to do something we see our possible answers as either "yes I care" or "no I don't care". This leaves us in the position of either saying yes and feeling resentful or saying no and feeling guilty. It doesn't have to be either/or. It is possible to say "I do care, but I can't because..." At first I believe that the other party will accept your answer with better grace than you. It takes practice to say no and not feel guilty but we must be true to ourselves in order to make the most of our lives and have the greatest impact in this life.
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
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