One should be able to say ‘no’ when he should. But it may not be possible for many of us because we want to show generosity and compassion. When a friend or acquaintance asks for some help, we are unable to say ‘no’, even if there is a possibility of getting ourselves into some trouble.
There are persons exploiting the kindness of others. So, never hesitate to say ‘no’ even to a friend or relative when you think it is safer for you to do that. I, now remember an incident in which I was to face some difficulties because I could not say ‘no’ to a friend and colleague of myself.
He was a friend and colleague of mine. His name was Sankaran (name changed). One day he asked a favor of me. He wanted to avail a personal loan form a financial firm. For that a guarantor was required. He requested me to help him by being his guarantor. I did not even have the slightest of hesitations. Why should I hesitate? He was my colleague. He was my friend. So, it is my duty to help him. Moreover, it would not be difficult for him to pay the monthly installments of the loan as he was employed like me and had a regular income.
So I stood as his guarantor with the satisfaction of helping a friend in need. But the fellow had other plans. He was not trustworthy as I thought him to be. After five months I received a notice from the financier. It said that my friend was a defaulter. He had not remitted even a single installment of repayment for the last five months. They had also written to the Government Treasury from which I was drawing my salary. So, the treasury would deduct the amount from my salary.
I was really shocked. I never suspected my colleague would cheat me like that. When I met my colleague Sankaran for the first time after that, I could not hold back my anger. I chided him severely. I warned him of dire consequences if he did not pay the amount without any delay.
Do you know what the fellow did? He simply disappeared. He did not turn up in office for several days. I did not draw my salary for several months because if I did, they would make a deduction from my salary. It took several months to make the fellow pay the amount. Only after that could I draw my salary.
After a year or two a neighbor of mine brought a young man before me. He asked for a favor from me. The young man he brought with him wanted to avail a loan from some bank. He requested me to be his guarantor. I did not even know that young fellow. I flatly refused. I did not even have to think about it for a single second to say ‘no’. And I congratulated myself for that later. My neighbor of course did not like that and was a little sour about it.
In the first instance, you can see that my colleague was trying to exploit the friendship and my compassionate mind to deceive me. There, I could very well have said ‘no’ to him. I did not do that and I ran into difficulties. That bitter experience made me take the right decision in the second instance and I never had to regret that.
So, never hesitate to say ‘no’ when the situation warrants it. Just keep aside your sympathy and compassion for an instant. It will definitely save you from trouble later.