Do you often find yourself saying “yes” when you really want to say “no?”
Are you taking on projects you seriously don’t have time for because someone else is desperate for your help? News flash—they’re taking advantage of you! Look around and you’ll probably discover they never bother asking people they know will turn them down—they only bring their desperation to sweet little you.
Do you knuckle-under to strong-willed people who know all the right guilt buttons to push and how to manipulate you with their power plays? They’re the type who say they won’t take “no” for an answer and make you believe it’s true.
Maybe you’re “yes” and participating in fund raisers and the like for causes which you have no real interest in because of pressure you feel to please others and have them see you in a good light. That’s insecurity with a capital “I.”
Here are three simple, yet highly effective techniques that will help you get “yes” out of your system so you can put “no” on your lips:
- Don’t listen to that scaredy-cat inner voice that says, “She’ll never talk to me again.” She’ll get over it, and if she doesn’t, you might want to question the health of a relationship where you can’t say no without suffering dire consequences.
- Don’t give an immediate answer. It’s perfectly acceptable to say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” Take time to get your thoughts together before answering. Try writing them down and then practice saying them out loud. Then get back to the person and say “no.”
- Don’t lie. You don’t need to make excuses. Say something like this: “I hope you’ll understand that when I say with all I have on my plate, I can’t add another thing.” Then button your lips. If you mean it, you can say you’d be willing to help at another time—but only if you mean it.
One other thing about saying “yes” and “no.” Forget “maybe.” Maybe is the wishy-washy coward’s way of saying “no.” Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matthew 5:37).
It’s been said courage is a muscle, and “no” is a word that will help you strengthen it.
Ask the Lord to help you be courageous and gracious. The result will be a happier, healthier, and less stressed you.