How Many Maybes Between No and Yes?

· May 15, 2016

We do not say what we want to say, we say yes when we want to say no, we deny it when we want to agree, a maybe means no or it means yes… What is wrong with us when we give our opinion?

Quite often, we undoubtedly see ourselves trapped in situations where we did not want to be from the start because we did not know how to say no, sometimes fearing the reactions of the other people involved, sometimes because of a compromise.

Maybe the reason does not matter, what is important is that we are denying ourselves by disconnecting what we think and desire from what we say.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

-Mahatma Gandhi-

Arrow Turns Woman to Leaves

Knowing how to say no

Learning to say no, to refuse to do something we do not like or that makes us feel bad is essential if we are going to be happy and at peace with ourselves.


There are many reasons why saying no is essential:

  • Not being complacent. It is necessary for us to learn how to say no when we are really agreeing just to please the other person (partner, parents, friends, etc.). Avoiding dependence or living to constantly please other people will allow us to be more free.
  • Choosing for ourselves. Our life cannot lie in the hands of other people; if we do not choose what we want to do, where we want to go, what type of people we want at our side, we will be living the lives of others and not our own. The people who love us often think that they know what is better for us, but sometimes, despite their good intentions, what controls them are their fears, which are not ours.

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.”

-Heraclitus-

  • Say no and get rid of your anxiety. When we want to say no and we do say no, we feel liberated, in harmony with our thoughts and with our deepest feelings. On the other hand, when we find ourselves faced with a situation that we put ourselves in out of fear of saying no, we are invaded by discomfort, stress, and anxiety.
  • Make yourself happy, not others. It is true that sometimes we have to give in, but never at the cost of our own happiness. Decisions made out of fear of the reactions of other people or out of a feeling of obligation will probably affect us negatively in the future, because we are not being happy and deciding for ourselves.
Women Talking, Cloud

Advice for learning to say what we really want to say

Be assertive

Assertiveness allows us to express our emotions and what we think in a clear way, while creating neither discomfort nor hostility.

Assertiveness means being able to express what we want to while showing empathy, but without leaving aside what we really want to say. It is a matter of saying what we want to with love, respect, and firmness.

Strengthen your self-esteem

Self-esteem or the opinion that we have of ourselves is fundamental if we want to be able to speak our minds. Low self-esteem will leave us at the mercy of other people’s opinions.

It is essential for us to learn to have our own opinions and to value ourselves as people so that we can have a happy and fulfilling life, so that we can have the life that we want.

Get rid of all feelings of guilt

Think about all the times that you have said what you were thinking and you did not feel guilty at all, but liberated and at peace with yourself. That is the feeling that should be predominating. Be yourself, with your virtues and your flaws. Do not feel guilty for being who you are.

Think about all the things that you are saying yes to when you say no. If, for example, they want you to work extra hours at work and you say no, you are saying yes to spending time with your family, to enjoying your friends, to practicing what you like to do in your free time, etc.

“The very fact that one asks oneself about the possible choice vitiates and muddies up what can be chosen. Yes, no, well about that… It would seem that a choice cannot be dialectical, that the fact of bringing it up impoverishes it, that is to say, falsifies it, that is to say, transforms it into something else. How many eons between the Yin and the Yang? How many, perhaps, between yes and no?”

-Julio Cortázar-

Images courtesy of Alexandra Nedzvetskaya, Cathy Delanssay