Have you ever seen the movie “Yes man”? I love Jim Carrey!
The movie is about a man who, after having attended a seminar, is given the homework to always say yes. From that day on, incredible things happen to the man who becomes sure this is the right therapy for his life. But after some time, everything turns wrong and he understands that the right way is in the middle between always saying YES and always saying NO.
Have you ever met people who always say yes? They are very accomodating, we see them as people who bend over backwards to help others. Some always say yes to please others, someone else because they are unable to say no or because they think they can manage everything in some ways. The risk here is to be unable to do everything, feeding people’s expectations but then letting them down (for example, coming up with excuses not to say no).
It is crucial to find the right balance: say yes whenever possible but LEARN TO SAY NO. How can we do it without being judged as unpleasant? How to correctly justify our refusal? Here are some useful strategies and thoughts that will help you justify your nos:
1) Everyone has an agenda, plans, things to do, goals to reach: some things simply cannot wait such as accomplishing a task, meeting a deadline, being on time for a date or preparing a special dinner for your family. The same is true for others, but it is not fair to cancel all your plans to satisfy others’ goals. Explaining what you have to do and within what time or date will allow others to understand why you said no and they will respect your and your agenda even more.
2) Learning to say no will keep you more focused on your goals: when the obstacles of having always something else to do will be removed, you will achieve your goals better and faster, and this will enhance not only your self esteem but also the consideration from others about your focus and determination.
3) If for example your no is to a co-worker, it is important to analyze with him the issue to solve it in a different way next time. Let’s say he asked you to help him with a project he had to complete in a few hours and you said no, and after some talk you realize he had this project on his desk for days: in this case, you could offer your help with his agenda, so he won’t be in dire straits and will benefit from your help in the future.