“Radha had put some amount of money in a chit fund (a type of investment) which was started by her neighbour who was also a good friend of hers. But now it seems that she is not returning the money due to some losses. At the time of investment, Radha had not told her husband about it and also had some apprehensions of investing in such a chit fund. However, she thought that she might hurt her friend and could not say NO. Now she does not know what to do as she cannot demand her friend and at the same time is worried about her husband’s reaction.”

Radha like many others has a problem to say NO. Many people around us find it difficult to say NO to near and dear ones when they approach for some help.

What should have Radha done when her friend approached her for getting into the chit fund?

  1. Radha should have discussed with her husband if she had doubts
    1. If it is related to a considerable amount of money and she has doubts, she could have discussed with her husband in the first place. discuss with partner
  2. People like Radha should know that they have a choice to say YES or NO
    1. Radha had a chance to make a choice to say YES or NO. But she did not realise it. She thought that if someone asked for help she had to say YES and a NO could be taken as being rude.
    2. Someone asking for help does not mean she always has to say YES
  3. Radha should know her priorities
    1.  Before saying YES or NO to any favour she should first realise whether the thing she is about to do is ‘important to her’ or not or whether she is doing it only to please her friend.
  4. Radha should have asked for more time to think and ask details regarding the finance business
    1. When Radha’s friend approached her, she should not immediately say YES. She should ask her friend TIME to think about it and if her friend insists or forces she should say NO.
    2. At the same time, she should have asked the friend more details about the finance business and written commitments too. This is important because they are entering into business which involves money matters and written agreement is a must instead of verbal commitments. Wiki on Chit Fund
  5. Radha should also be careful whether she is being manipulated
    1. For example, the friend could have told Radha, “I know Radha. You are my very good friend and never let me down. You will definitely help me in my business”. Be very careful when someone praises you a lot and makes decisions from your side.
    2. Good friends always give you choice and will never force you. They will also ask you to discuss with your family before coming to any conclusion.
  6. Do not assume that by not helping the friend, she will be upset with you and the relationship might break.
    1. Good friends never break up just that you did not join in their business.
    2. By saying NO, if the friend breaks the relationship, better not to be associated with such people who cannot understand you.
  7. Radha should have been assertive enough to say NO and explain why she can’t do it.
    1. Say NO with assertion and need not give excuses.
    2. Radha could have told to her friend “I understand how difficult it is for you to start off this business but I have few other commitments elsewhere and might not be able to get into it now. I wish you all the best.”
  8. Radha should have accepted the fact that she cannot make everyone happy all the time and cannot do everything as well.
    1. People like Radha want to please everyone which is not possible. Acknowledge it.
  9. Use calm and even voice when trying to say NO.
    1. Radha should use a calmer and firm voice while saying NO to her friend. If she becomes weak and hesitates while talking, the friend can sense her weakness and try to push her into saying YES.
    2. Make eye contact while saying NO.
  10. Do not overly apologise.
    1. Even if Radha said NO, she should not apologise too much as she had not made any mistake. Some people say sorry a lot and it is not needed.

One should realise that we all have a right to make choices and should always use our reasoning to make choices. If we find difficulty in making choices, there is nothing wrong in asking help from our family members or friends. Because once an act is done, undoing it becomes extremely difficult.


Learn when to say No


Dr Jyothirmayi is a Psychiatrist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *