Learning To Say “No” (Part 3) – Removing The Roadblocks To Say “No”

by Patrick Liew on December 28, 2011

To learn how to say “No,” I need to understand why I have a tendency to say “Yes.” When I understand the motivation behind it, I’m in a better position to eliminate it.

I need to also understand why it is difficult for me to say “No.” By doing that, I can set things right.

In addition, I should list the situations where it is most challenging to say “No.” I have to find ways to respond to them before they happen again.

Put simply, by removing the roadblocks to saying “No,” I make it easier for me to cultivate this important discipline.

Let me share with you some of the common roadblocks.

1. Relationship

Eg. “I don’t want our relationship to be affected.”

There are times when I did not say “No” because I was concerned that it may affect my relationship. I was worried that I may lose a friend or our friendship will become worse off because of it.

2. Reach Out   

Eg. “I want to help others.”

I believe I have a good heart and that I want to help others. I find it hard to reject someone and leave the person in a difficult situation.

3. Rapport

Eg. “I want to be connected with and stand by others.”

In trying to be agreeable, I want to feel that I am connecting with others. I want to be there for them and stand by them.

I am a friend who will be with them in times of needs – not a fair weather friend.

4. Recognition 

Eg. “I want to be accepted, recognized and respected.”

There are times when I say “Yes” because I wanted to feel accepted and appreciated. I was somehow looking for recognition and respect.

5. Reputation 

Eg. “I do not want others to think badly of me.”

I am sometimes concerned that if I don’t say “Yes,” they will think negatively of me.

As an Asian, I also don’t want the other party to ‘lose face.’ As a result they may develop ill-feelings about me.

6. Repercussion 

Eg. “I don’t want others to avoid me and have unnecessary confrontations and retaliations.”

At the back of my mind, there will be concerns that the other party will feel a sense of rejection and resentment. The potential dissent may lead to unhealthy conflicts, confrontations and other challenges.

The other person may remember my response and choose to avoid me. He may tell others about me and may not help me in the future.

Whatever the reasons for not saying “No” to unjustified requests, they are illusions in my mind. They do not have to lead to false guilt and remorse.

When I say “No,” it’s not a reflection of my aloofness or apathy to help.

My friends should not think or feel negative about me. I don’t have to worry that it will affect my reputation and my relationship.

Saying “No” properly should not invite any repercussion or retaliation.

I need to resist these false notions in my mind and remove them. I cannot allow them to prevent me from living an effective life.

If I have an issue with my self-esteem, I will have to do something about it. It does not have to depend on other people’s thoughts, acceptance and recognition.

If the other party chose to respond negatively, it is not my fault. Perhaps they are not the kind of friends I need to have in the first place.

It’s perfectly alright to say “No” if I cannot fulfill the request properly or if I have more important tasks at hand. I don’t have to feel bad about it.

In fact, I should be happy because I have acted wisely.

I give myself unquestionable permission to say “No” – and to do so wholeheartedly and confidently.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Think: How can I remove the roadblocks to say “No?”


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