Don't Say Yes When You Want to Say No! – #MTtalk » Mind Tools Blog
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Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No! – #MTtalk

January 16, 2018

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, January 19 @ 1 p.m. EST (6 p.m. GMT, 11:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No!
Host: @Mind_Tools

“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘No’ to yourself.”
– Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist

About This Week’s Chat: The Problem With Yes

Recently, I’ve had a few conversations with my friend, Carey. I’ve also had conversations with other people that were about Carey. And hearing about a situation from two perspectives brought to my attention a problem that is all too common: people’s fear of saying “No!”

Carey loves people and has a very good heart. She’s also a people-pleaser – she wants everybody to like her, and goes to great lengths to avoid conflict.

As a result, she often says “Yes” when she wants to say “No.” And that led to an unfortunate vicious cycle.

Carey was asked to take on a task and, even though she had good and justifiable reasons for refusing the request, she said “Yes,” and completed the job. Some time later, the same person made the same request again and, because she said “Yes” the first time, Carey found it difficult to say “No.” Consequently, she started to feel resentful, because she had to do something that she didn’t really want to do.

Carey’s resentment started to show in her interactions with the other person. Kind, friendly Carey distanced herself from that person, who was understandably concerned, and asked her if something was wrong. This time, Carey said “No” when she should have said “Yes,” so she felt doubly anxious and the relationship between the two began to break down.

Carey’s fear of being disliked or handling conflict causes her to try to please everybody. In this case, the outcome was the very conflict that she wanted to avoid.

Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No

Many of us are confronted with situations at home and at work where we want to (and should) say “No!” Yet we still say “Yes.”

In our Twitter poll this week, we asked why you say “Yes” when you want so say “No.” More than a third of you said that you feel pressured to do so, while almost a third said that it’s because you don’t want to be disliked. Click here to see the options and results.

In Friday’s chat, we’re going to discuss “Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No.” We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • When is it appropriate to say “No”?
  • Why is it so difficult to say “No”?
  • What are the benefits of learning to say “No”?
  • What needs to be in place for you to more easily say “No” to requests?
  • How can you make saying “No” easier for yourself?
  • What does it feel like when someone says “No” to you?
  • When is it appropriate to say “Yes,” even though you’d prefer not to?

Useful Resources

To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse:

How to Be Assertive
Coping Under Pressure
Managing Interruptions
“Yes” to the Person, “No” to the Task
How to Get the Best From an Extra Miler
Essential Negotiation Skills
Albrecht’s Four Types of Stress
How Can I Stop Saying Sorry All the Time?

How to Join Our Chat

At Mind Tools, we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you, too, and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1 p.m. EST (6 p.m. GMT; 11:30 p.m. IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here on our blog every week!

Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No! – #MTtalk

  1. Joyame wrote:

    Thanks for holding the live-chat. I look forward to participating in it

    1. Midgie Thompson wrote:

      We look forward to seeing you on our next #MTtalk which is held fortnightly. We have participants from all over the world sharing their thoughts and ideas. We’d love to hear from you too.

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