If you can’t say No to people, the chances are that you’re not as mentally tough as you’d like.
Here’s the thing. Most of us want to be liked by other people. We are social creatures who want to have friends. We don’t want to be lonely.
But some of us take this desire to be liked too far. As a consequence, we say Yes to everything that people ask of us.
“Can you drive me to the airport tomorrow at 6am?”
“Can you look after my three Rottweiler dogs tonight?”
“Can you accompany me to the NBA game tonight because I have a spare ticket going and don’t want to go alone?”
Yes! Yes! And more Yes!
It feels good to say Yes to something. We’re pleasing others, and we’re also getting something out of it ourselves – or so we assume.
See, when you say Yes all the time, you’re also saying No to something else you could be doing instead.
People say, “Well, I can’t say No because that just sounds selfish.”
But when you say Yes all the time, are you really doing it for selfless reasons?
Or are you actually doing it because it’s going to make people like you more? Which is actually, you know, a totally selfish reason to say Yes to something.
Another reason why we say Yes too often is because we think, “Well, I don’t really have an excuse to hand that I could give. So I’ve gotta say Yes.”
This is totally not the case. You can easily just say “Thanks for asking, but actually I can’t make it”, and that can be the end of it.
We also refrain from saying No because we don’t want to disappoint someone. We don’t want to let them down. But are you giving your friend enough credit here? Are you totally sure they’re going to be so crushed by you saying No that they literally can’t function anymore? The chances are they won’t be that bothered at all!
If you’re sick and tired of saying Yes to everyone all the time and quite fancy the idea of saying No on occasions, here are a few times when you should say No.
Say No To Trying To Meet Other Peoples’ Expectations
Everyone seems to have an opinion of us, and they also have expectations of us. Simply because of the things we’ve done in the past and the things we’ve said Yes to, they’ve created an ideal version of us.
But your past doesn’t have to define you. Just because you got way too drunk a few times (because you felt you had to) doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it to meet the standards you yourself have set, and which everyone else still expects you to meet.
Define yourself by reinvention by surprising people. Say No to things you have said Yes to in the past. Be unpredictable. Show people the real you. Eventually, their expectations and idealised versions of you will fade and they will know who you really are, and what you actually want out of life.
Say No To A Job You Hate
Most of us – it not all of us – have been in a job we absolutely hated at some point or another. Bu while rubbish jobs are just a temporary means to an end for some (such as students) they seem to be something we get stuck with for years for the rest of us.
We do we keep saying Yes to rubbish jobs? Why do we say No when there is an opportunity to quit and try something new?
Often it’s because we don’t want to leave our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s because we don’ want to let other people down. But you spend half of your life at work. It’s super important that you enjoy this half!
Don’t worry about what other people will think of you. If you don’t like a job, make it your goal to find one you LOVE.
Say No To People Who Bring You Down
One of the worst things you can keep saying Yes to is situations and people that just bring you down.
I used to have a friend who was totally fine with me when it was just us two, but whenever there was a group of us she seemed to enjoy putting me down with her sly, backhanded comments. I’m not sure why she did it, but it always left me feeling bad.
But I still continued to say Yes when she asked me out because I didn’t want her to think she was annoying me!
You don’t need to put yourself in a situation that’s going to bring you down. To avoid feeling bad about yourself, just say the magic word.
(the magic word is No btw).
Say No To Being Overworked
Boss wants you to do a further two hours today because he’s way behind with his targets?
Maybe he wants you to work this weekend with him and has chosen you because you’re his best worker?
Often, we feel obliged to accept whenever we’re asked to work longer. Sometimes, we even feel good because we assume the company needs us and trusts us.
But being overworked is actually really bad for you in a few ways. It takes its toll on you mentally and physically, and it also prevents you from seeing your friends and family and doing the things you actually want to do.
Say No to being overworked. You have a life to live.
Say No If You REALLY Don’t Want To Do It
The problem with people pleasing is that we even say Yes to things we know we don’t want to do. We say Yes just to please the other person, despite knowing that in two weeks’ time we’ll have to text them with an excuse explaining why we can’t actually do it.
This really disappoints them because, for two weeks they’ve been getting excited about doing that thing with you!
It’s important that you say No INSTANTLY to something you know you definitely don’t want to do. You’ll only back out eventually anyway, so why not just nip things in the bud straight away?