“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” ~ Author Unknown
As human beings, we are hardwired for so many functions, some complex, some are pretty much straightforward like always wanting to please! There’s nothing wrong with always wanting to please people, what is wrong, however, is overcommitting ourselves.
You might say to yourself, “Oh I’m not overcommitting, I’m just doing my job or I just want to be a good parent.” What you’re actually saying is, this isn’t something I want to do but it’s something I feel I have to do. The fact that you feel obligated to do something or doing something in hopes to receive a reward shows you’re overcommitting.
Try pulling back from always wanting to ‘DO’ or feeling that saying ‘YES’ is your only option. Try to evaluate why you always feel the need to please and consider some of these options.
You don’t have to be likeable– when there’s a great need to be likeable you’re too busy driving to stay on top of things that all your great ideas get buried among the yeses to bad ideas from others. Be genuine by saying how you really feel and introduce your own thoughts.
Make ‘NO’ your friend- Practice saying ‘no’ to the little things. If you’re comfortable telling someone you’re in a relationship with that you hate cheese on your fries, then it will be easier to say ‘no’ to something greater like you’re not ready to meet the family or ending the relationship completely. It will also build confidence in saying ‘no’ to working late on a Friday. I’ve built the confidence to say no to anything that doesn’t suit my needs and wants as an individual or interferes with ‘me’ time.
Tone it down- If you’re not comfortable with flat out saying ‘no’ you can tone it down by saying “I’ll get back to you.” This gives you time think about your response and time to build the courage to reject or accept the initial request. When I get tell my kids I’ll get back to them they know it usually means a ‘no’ anyway, so this is an option I really used because if I have to think things over for me it means it’s something I’m not really sure I want to do. Unless of course, the matter is something I need to do research on, in which case my saying “I’ll get back to you” means just that! Get back to you.
Value your time-After all is said and done, this is all about putting some value on your time, your priorities, your perspective or outlook on things. Saying ‘yes’ to everyone and everything is really saying you value someone or thing more than you do yourself.
“©Etta D. Richards