A group of women hold their fists in the air triumphantly

You're Not Selfish for Saying 'No'

You're Not Selfish for Saying 'No'

The term “Yes Man” can apply to more than just men themselves but also women. This term refers to an individual that is always saying ‘yes’ implying that they are easy-going or just go with the flow when ultimately it can be because of a deeper-rooted personal issue of the fear of nonacceptance. Ultimately, it is okay to say no. Saying no creates boundaries, whether that be within your personal life or even professional life.

Setting boundaries can be a reach for a different part of your life and open new opportunities. It is important to establish boundaries, especially within professional settings. This can include education or even the office. There have been many instances of taking on too much work and infringing on your own wellness. There is a stigma and wrong perception of the word selfish. The word, by definition, means to be devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others or to be characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: having selfish motives (1). This definition has created a stigma for many people, especially women across the world. From experience, as well as many others, have put their own needs aside to meet the needs of others. Over my years of young adulthood, I have luckily learned that at the end of the day, saying ‘yes’ all the time is only putting my own health and wellness into jeopardy. There have been countless times when I will commit to a project or an event that I really don’t feel comfortable doing or even have the energy. The fear of not being able to be accepted by a certain individual or community consumed the younger years of my life and was overall pretty emotionally taxing at the end of each social or professional event.


By saying ‘no’ and setting personal boundaries there are countless life lessons and opportunities that can open. Though it is not easy for everyone to do, it can be taught and learned throughout life. Start by asking yourself if there have ever been times when you really did not want to do something but you said yes anyways; how did that make you feel? Was it worth all the nighters? Now, this can be a sensitive topic but take this and apply it to all aspects of your life, again professionally or personally. Setting boundaries should not make you selfish, setting boundaries does not make you self conceited, setting boundaries is a part of life and the life you build for yourself and the people you choose to surround yourself with.


1. “Selfish Definition & Meaning.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/selfish.