>> Thursday, November 15, 2012
I need help. I'm quite shy. I hardly ever say my opinion to others and I find it almost impossible to say no to people. My best friend says I need to start saying no so that people will stop taking advantage of me. But I don't know how to do that. And I feel incredibly guilty if I even try to say no. Is there anything about this from an Islamic point of view?
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (Radiya Allah Anhoo): The Prophet (sallahu Alyhee wa salam) passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding Haya and was saying, "You are very shy, and I am afraid that might harm you." On that, Allah's Apostle said, "Leave him, for Haya is (a part) of Faith." (Bukhari).
There is nothing wrong with being shy and keeping your thoughts to yourself is a quality that is very admirable. If only half of the world kept their own opinions to themselves then we would not have so many problems! I encourage you to keep adopting the beautiful attribute of shyness and only speak out when it is necessary to do so.
After you have mastered this first step, your second step is to practice with your best friend and ask her to give you scenarios that you will say “no” to and also your reasons for saying “no”. Remember with your reasons, you want to be honest, direct and to the point. The more we pause and drag on our answer, the more likely we will seem uncertain and lacking confidence with our answer “no”.
There are several ways of saying “no” if you don’t feel comfortable with a one word answer. You may practice saying: “I apologize but I am unable to do that because (insert reason i.e- against Allah’s commands , you are busy etc)..” or “ I’m currently working on my own homework now and I won’t be able to find time to share my answers” and also “ I’m sorry but I fear Allah and I am afraid that if I say yes and follow through with those plans, I will also fall into sin.”
These are just a few examples just to give you a general idea of different alternative sentences you may use. Always seem sincerely apologetic and show compassion that you are unable to respond to their requests but at the same time state your reason why you can’t assist them.
But we do want to point out though that if you are being used and you are aware of that, you should not let that continue because the Messenger of Allah was reported as saying what could mean:
" A Muslim is not stung from the same whole twice” (1). Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah).
Nothing is better than saying “yes” to earning the pleasure of Allah and Him alone! J