The power of “NO”

Living during a blockdown brings out our worst fears and make us doubt about life, ourselves and people close to us. Yesterday was released my interview for Comunicaffè where I talked about the role of women in the coffee sector. Well one question I wasn’t asked to answer directly but that came in my mind while searching for the most honest answers to give is this:

“Why it is so difficut to say NO”?

Let me explain. As a woman I felt that if I say “no”, so if I refuse to do or say something, a kind of bad feeling arouse inside me. It made me question myself why I said “yes” to request that were not important for me or to duties it was not my priority to solve in that moment. As a woman we are mostly educated to be diligent, good girls, be patient and we have this spirit of duty infused in us since early age.

I have always been very open minded, available to do extra work, shift hours and bring work at home when I was working as an account. Even when I started my career in the hospitality field, for me was kinda natural to say “yes” to crazy request like cover every shift of colleagues that simply disappear after the trial day, do more and thanks to my knowledge work also as a social media manager or design the new menu, or find new suppliers and so on… I always said yes.

Then I realized I said Yes just to feel included in that social group or that working team. To feel accepted. Because when you start saying “no” thing change. And they change not only the way people react to your refusal but they change also the way you perceive yourself. You feel powerful again, like you have back the control over your decisions. Too many times we are keen to say “yes” just because “otherwise what will my colleague think, that I am lazy? That I don’t wanna help him/her?”. Yes, these are little and subtle pshycological tricks our mind plays. But the truth is kinda different if looked from another perspective.

Saying “no” (of course if there is a reson to refuse something, not just as a way to behave, let me be clear at this point), allows you to set your priorities, your time management, your bundary between work and private life, your limit of availability in a certain way.

On the other side when you start saying “no”, or better when you find the sgrenght inside you to do this first steps, people will be a little bit disappointed as you were Always available, they won’t understand so easily why you changed your behaviour. Simply hold on. They sooner or later will accept this. But most of all you will feel an incredible power coming from inside you. You will feel invincible – Lol! – but setting a border between what you can do and what you don’t have to do is such a relief feeling.

You will have time to see clearer which are your priorities. How many times we stuck in the office, to work for someone else while our cell phone was ringing with kids, friends or partner calling because they were waiting you for dinner? Mine when I was 25-30…almost every evening.

Don’t be the little kid everyone expect you to be. If you feel it’s right to refuse (work but even private life because rememebr that when you say no to a man he should respect your decision) simply say “NO”. If you say no to a man – a fiancè, your boss, a colleague, someone you just met – he will feel it like a personal defeat. But simply stay strong and stick to your decision.

Be kind Be firm. Don’t change your mind. Be confident.

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