Do you have way too much on your plate but no one to blame but yourself? This may be a sign that you need to start using your god-given right to say ‘no,’ and we can help you learn how.
Many of us had gotten ourselves into one too many commitments before and learned our lessons. However, some people have a tough time saying no and end up with too much to do all the time.
There are plenty of reasons why someone would feel the need to say yes all the time. As a result, we have addressed some of those reasons and put together a guide on how to stop saying yes when you want to say no.
Identifying Why You Can’t Say No
Many people cannot say no for many different reasons. Fortunately, saying no is a learned skill, so everybody can break out of their cycle of being yes men with too much to do all of the time.
We have identified two main reasons why people struggle with saying no these days. The first reason is that the person has built a habit of saying yes automatically, even if they do not mean it, making it a knee-jerk reaction.
The second reason is that the person thinks saying no will hurt a relationship with the asker. Many people tend to overthink the consequences of saying no to someone and agree to please them instead.
Breaking The Habit
If you realize that you have said yes to many commitments out of habit, there are ways to change that. As mentioned before, saying no is a learned skill, and sometimes all it needs is practice to get it right.
Experts suggest thinking ‘no’ first when someone approaches you with a request to remind yourself of your choices. It is also helpful not to give an answer immediately so you can think about your response.
Stalling your response gives you time to think about the request and to review your existing commitments. Another tactic is to practice saying the words more often, even if you’re practicing a script to yourself.
If you still find yourself automatically saying yes, there is no need to worry. You can always double back on your affirmative response by asking questions that can help you dial down on the commitment if needed.
Stop People Pleasing
Saying yes because you would like to make the other person happy is a common phenomenon. While the tips for breaking the habit applies to people who say yes to please others, there’s more to consider as well.
It is essential to acknowledge that you can’t do everything and please everyone in this instance. Trying to juggle too much more than you can handle to impress people will only result in stress and energy depletion.
Start selecting commitments that bring you joy, align with your values, and stop accepting those that don’t. This will need you to take some time to identify your priorities, so you know where to focus your energy.
Defining personal boundaries is also a great step towards learning how to say no. Ensure that you set those boundaries and are clear about what you can take on, especially with the people closest to you.