Don’t Say Yes When You Really Mean No!

Self ConfidenceOne common thing that happens to many of us is getting caught in the “yes” trap.

We are asked to do something that we really don’t want to do.

But instead of saying no, we feel we should do it and so we say yes.

Reasons to say when you really mean no:

There are many reasons why we say yes when we really mean no.

  • One reason is we are afraid to say no.
  • We may fear being rejected by the person asking us.
  • Instead of standing up for what we really believe or want, we cower and say yes. Or we fear having a confrontation with the person.
  • Instead of saying no, you say yes to avoid getting into a conflict.
  • People who have low self-confidence can sense that other people are more powerful than them. They often don’t want to get into situations that could turn into disagreements.

Circumstances in your life for which you say yes but mean no:

  • You’re shopping for clothes and the salesperson makes some suggestions. Do you ever buy something you don’t really like that well just because you don’t want to say no to the salesperson?
  • You’re at the beauty salon or barbershop getting your hair cut. The stylist makes some suggestions about how to cut your hair. You don’t really want it that way but you let her cut it anyway because you don’t want to say no.
  • You’re at a restaurant and the waiter recommends a particular dish. Even though you don’t usually like this particular food, you order it and eat it anyway.
  • You get a phone call from someone selling something. You want to say no but instead you end up buying the item.
  • Someone comes to the door selling magazine subscriptions. Even though you don’t need any magazines you agree to purchase a subscription.
  • Your sister calls to see if you can baby sit her kids on Saturday night. There is no special occasion; they just want some time without the kids. You say yes even though you and your husband had planned to go to the movies on Saturday night. (She relies on you all the time even though she does have a baby-sitter that she could call)
  • At work, a co-worker asks you to complete a report for them. You agree, even though it means you will need to work late to finish it.
  • Sometimes people say yes even when it is inconvenient or costly to do so.

Sometimes you may find that you are doing more than the person you are helping out. It’s pretty easy for someone to take advantage of you once they find out that you are an easy target.

Some people will use you once they know that you usually say yes. They also may not even realize that you are being inconvenienced or that you really didn’t want to say yes.

What happens in these situations is that you start to have resentments towards the people that continually ask you or expect you to do things. They, on the other hand, may just think that you are happy to do these things.

What makes someone say yes when they don’t want to? Many feelings are hiding under the surface.

How to stop saying yes?

  • In order for you not to confront the person you learn to avoid the situation by immediately giving in to what the other person wants.
  • In order to make it stop you need to first recognize what situations you say yes in when you mean no.
  • Then, the only way to stop is to stop saying yes. Learn to say no.
  • You need to be strong but you don’t need to be mean or angry. A simple no is enough.
  • If the person asks you for a reason why you can’t do something you can tell them truthfully why not or you can let them know that you just don’t have the time to allow it anymore.

Learning to Say No:

For one week, keep a notebook handy. For the first few days, write down anytime someone asks for something that you want to say “no” to.

Write down who asked you, what they asked for and your actual response to the person and the rest of the conversation. Look at the things in the list and see which ones really should have been “no”.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the request a reasonable one?
  • Is this a high priority for me?
  • Why do I want to do this?
  • Why don’t I want to do this?

Rewrite the dialogue as if you were talking to the person but instead of yes, tell them no.

For the rest of the week continue to write down these incidents, however, this time, actually tell the person “no” when you mean no. It will be hard at first, but will get easier the more you do it. You’ll feel so empowered the first time you stand up for yourself!



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