Saying yes when you'd like to say no . . .

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2016


Dr. Mark Goulston, in his book, “Get Out of Your Own Way:  Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior,”  talks about the common dilemma of saying “yes” when you’d like to say “no.”

He says that “when you can’t say no without fear, or yes without resentment, it’s time to say stop!”

What to do?  Dr. Goulston makes some recommendations and I’ve included some insights.

  •  If you wait too long to do anything about it, you could become frustrated, have an angry outburst, and destroy a relationship, either professional or personal.

  • Realize that people are not mind readers.   They will have no idea that you wanted to say “no” . . . if you don’t take action.

  • Timing is crucial.  If you notice that you’re becoming frustrated, it is time make a plan to talk to the person.  Choose the time carefully.

  • Dr. Goulston recommends, “express your grievance as an observation.”

  • Talk about how what’s happening hurts or frustrates you.  Don’t make accusations or be judgmental.

  • Own up to being partly responsible for creating the situation.

  • Let the person know exactly how you’d like the situation to be in the future.

  • Make this sound like a request or suggestion.  Don’t threaten or give an ultimatum.

  • Practice this ahead of time so that you can say it calmly without anger or resentment showing through.

  • Remember, no one can hear your thoughts and when you said “yes,” they took you at your word.

When you have that calm conversation with the person involved, congratulate yourself afterwards. 

You’re taking the reins into your own hands.  

You're claiming your time back .

These are HUGE steps . . . 

Live Your Life.  Make Your Difference.


Fear of failure is something that many of us experience. To learn how to let it go, get my Cheat Sheet here.

Each person's experience in life and at work is different, I'd love to hear about yours. Please leave me a comment below!

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