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  • Writer's pictureStacy G. Smith, MS, LPC

Overcoming Anxiety: Tip #7

Saying "no" can be the scariest word we say. It's as if that one word is attached to a dozen thoughts that cloud our minds and make our hearts race:

  • "What if they never ask me to do anything ever again?"

  • "What if they no longer consider me dependable or a good friend?"

  • "Will my boss consider me lazy?"

  • "I just know I'll never get that promotion now."

  • "My kids will never forgive me."

  • "I'll be considered a mean and selfish person for sure."

Very often, we guilt ourselves into saying yes, simply because we want to make a good impression, have our friends, family, and coworkers like us, and be considered a hard-working, driven individual. While it's not wrong to say yes, it's important to think of why you are saying yes.

It can become easy to fall into the "people-pleasing" trap, where you say yes to everyone around you, simply because you want to feel liked. You may say yes even though you'll regret it later, feel uncomfortable, overwhelmed, and exhausted by the end of the day. You may even tell yourself, "tomorrow is the day I'm going to put my foot down and just say no," yet get nervous in the moment and give in, once again, saying yes yes yes. How exhausting! and stressful!

Remember, an important reason to practice saying no is to honor ourselves, and allow our physical and emotional well-being to become a priority. When we overuse our mind and body, we burn out, become drained, and feel exhausted. We can become irritable and resentful, and either take our frustrations out on family, friends, and loved ones, or bottle our feelings up until we break. It's important to recognize and honor our limits so that we can remain focused, calm, and in control.


  • Will your boss really consider you lazy, or is that an irrational worry?

  • Will your kids never forgive you for saying no and setting boundaries?

  • Will you really be considered selfish and unreliable for the occasional "no?"

Sometimes, we need to take that extra minute to look at our thoughts and question, "is this really true?" or is this our anxious mind at work?


DISCLAIMER: The blog posts shared on contain the opinions of Stacy Smith, MS, LPC, and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations or affiliates. While Stacy is a licensed mental health professional, all blog posts on her site are for informational purposes only, and are never a substitute for professional advice catered to your individual needs. Stacy Smith is not liable for any diagnosis, treatment plans, or decisions made based on the information presented on this website. Furthermore, commenting on posts does not mean a treatment relationship has been established with Stacy Smith.​

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