Do you constantly want to please others? Are you the type of person
who will always agree with someone? Do you tend to avoid conflict and will
do anything to make people like you? Are you afraid of someone not agreeing
with what you have to say?
Many people, women especially, have a hard time saying "no". They
fear rejection and isolation from others. It is easier to agree with someone
or to do what they want, than to face a negative response. To keep from
disappointing others, women (and men) do things they know they shouldn't.
They tend to put their thoughts, feelings, opinions and health aside for
the sake of others. Keeping quiet when a conflict arises( to maintain peace)
or agreeing to a project that no one else wants to do, just to be "liked",
is a very common trait.
What does all of this agreeing and saying "yes" do to someone's
self-esteem? Their self-worth? Their identity? Do you think it strengthens
it? Does it improve it? Does it make a person stronger? It most certainly
does the opposite! When you continually give in to the wishes of others,
and it is at your expense, your frustration grows deeper and your self-esteem
How happy is someone constantly living a life like this? What choices does
a person have to help them get out of this prison?
I dealt with this very same issue a few years ago. Growing up I wanted to
please everyone. I loved the attention I received by saying "yes".
I thrived on the positive comments about how great I was for "helping
out" or "staying late" or "taking the time" to
do something. The praise was great!! However, after a while, I was known
as the person people asked to do things they didn't feel like doing. They
knew that I wanted to please everyone and that I rarely said "no".
The curse of saying "yes" followed me through my adult life. Once
again, I was trapped and didn't know how to get out! I was saying "yes"
to so many things that my health was suffering , I wasn't making time for
myself, my self-esteem was plummeting, I truly felt like a hamster running
on an exercise wheel, going round and round with no way out!
A good friend of mine finally opened my eyes to how I as acting and what
I was doing to myself. I stopped and listened to her and decided to search
for help. I sought help from a coach and began to change the way I handled
certain situations. I began changing my behavior, my self-image and reactions
to certain situations. I was amazed at how the tools I had learned had actually
worked the first time I tried them! I was shocked to see how my life started
What can you do that will help you become more assertive? Here are a few
Make sure you know where you stand on an issue. Do you want to say
yes or no? If you aren't sure, simply say "I need some time to think
it over , I will get back with you on Monday." That way, you do not
have to give an answer right away and it gives the person a definite time
to hear back from you.
Be as brief as possible. Simply state "no" and give a quick
reason why. Refrain from giving long, elaborate responses.
Slow down! Think before you respond. When you are ready to make a
statement, think about the words you are going to use and how you will get
your point across as assertive as possible.
Plan ahead. If you know you are going to confront someone or a situation,
plan what you will say in advance. Close your eyes and think about how you
will respond. Play the conversation over in your head. What will the person
say? How will you react?
Stand tall! Be aware of your body language. Hold your head high,
breathe deeply and feel confident. Letting your head drop, or gazing at
the floor while talking to someone can give a negative impression.
When declining or telling someone "no" and they seem upset
or taken back, validate their feelings by stating, " I know this will
be a disappointment to you but I won't be able to
If a person is persistent to your "no", it is not necessary
to come up with a new explanation each time. Just repeat your "no"
calmly and your original reason for declining.
If you are caught off guard and are asked to do something or go somewhere
and you don't particularly want to, say " I wish I could , however
I have an appointment." Saying with who you have an appointment with
These are just a few ideas to take with you to get you on your feet. Many
times the fear of saying "no" is partnered with feelings of low
self-esteem, lack of self, lack of focus, and failing to meet personal goals.
If this describes you, I would recommend getting assistance, like I initially
did, to help you get a clear vision on what you truly want for yourself.
Talk to a friend, a counselor or hire a coach, like me, who can help you
pave a path to the life you have always wanted! The important thing is to
take action and to have a plan in place!
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Time management hints and tips