For some people, saying yes, giving in to what is asked or wanted is a habit, even an addiction, that they can't break. Yes-people often believe that turning someone down makes them a "bad" person.
The research for my book, The Book of NO: 250 Ways to Say It-and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever, culminated in insights and tools that can help people-pleasers get off the yes-treadmill. Saying NO as so many discover doesn't turn you into an uncaring, selfish person. The word NO actually protects you, earns the respect of others, and frees you to be there for those you truly want to assist without allowing them to control you.
Here are a few keys to being able to refuse and striking a balance between being a pushover and being kind and considerate:
- Understand that when you say NO, people are not thinking about you as much as you think and worry about what they think. In most cases, they move on to find someone else to help them.
- Stall before you give your answer and ask yourself these questions:
Do I have the time?
What do I have to give up to do this?
Will I feel pressured?
Will I be upset with myself or resent the person asking?
Will I feel duped or manipulated?
Answering the questions before agreeing will build your resistance and start to make it easier to say NO to your partner, co-workers, friends, even your children.
For more on how and why to say NO, see: 13 Ways to Make Saying No Easier and The Book of NO: 250 Ways to Say It-and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever
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Copyright 2011 by Susan Newman