No. Such a powerful little word, and as toddlers you may have had no trouble using it. No, you can’t have my doll, and no, I don’t like to eat those vegetables.

Yet somewhere along the line, as adults, you do use no, but it’s a watered-down, weak version that people around you don’t take seriously.

You say yes to events you don’t want to attend, put others needs over your needs, do favours you don’t want to, attend nights out with people you aren’t sure of, eat food you don’t really want, and do jobs you hate… and the list can go on.

Not able to say ‘no’ may come at a higher price than you may realise. Inability to say no can often lead to the following things:

Bad relationships

It might seem that if you always say yes to the one you love or to the good friend you have, you are going to be in healthy loving relationship. But in the long run, whether you admit it to yourself or not, you are going to start to feeling manipulated or deprived. You are also likely to not have honest relationship with your partner or friend.


As the time and energy to accomplish your own goals will surely and steadily be eaten up by other people’s demands, you might begin to experience anxiety. Anxiety can happen because at an unconscious level you are aware that you are moving farther and farther away from achieving your personal goals and not creating the life you hoped for.

Lack of personal Identity

If you don’t focus on what you want, and spend all of our time doing what others want, it is possible to eventually not even know what you really want. Eventually you can become so numb from doing what others want that you don’t even know what you like and don’t like and what’s your personality. And not having a sense of self can create a lack of personal identity.

Break ups and Divorce

Again, saying yes can seem to make feel closer to your partner at first, but inevitably it will lead to fights as hidden resentments will start to come to surface. Initially the fights might seem to be irrelevant and about ‘little things’, but there is nothing little about self-sacrificing. The more your partner demands from you, the more the older memories will  be triggered, which can lead to more distance between you two and disagreements that leave your self-esteem so low you want a breakup or a divorce.

Next time you hesitate to say no, think twice and be aware of what you may be creating for yourself.