Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving and helping others, there often comes a point in your life when some people start taking advantage of your kindness and view it as a weakness. Everyone has met a "yes" person in their lives; the one who is always smiling, always doing favors and always seemingly happy to help. While this is a great quality to have, at some point you just have to learn how to stop being a yes person in order to fulfill your own needs and happiness. I've always felt like a "yes" person, so I'm here to help you and myself find 7 ways to stop being a "yes" person!
1. Stall Making a Decision
The next time someone asks you for a favor, say that you’ll need to think about it. This gives you the opportunity to consider if you can, or even want to commit to helping them. Take this time to ask yourself, how stressful is this going to be or do I have the time to do this? If the person needs an answer right away, then say no. Once you say yes, you’re stuck, but by saying no, you automatically leave yourself an option to say yes later if you change your mind.
2. Speak up!
If you have a different opinion than everyone else, speak up! For example, if you and your friend are going to the movies, and they want to see a different movie than you do, say something! It doesn't mean that you will definitely get to see the movie you want, but at least you're not just going along with the movie your friend wants to make them happy. There's nothing wrong with voicing your opinion, and it doesn't have to mean you're making a demand. Simply reminding people that you're an individual with your own preferences is a big step forward from being the pushover who agrees with what everyone else wants to do.
3. Don't over-Explain Saying "No"
When you finally get up the nerve to say "no" to something you don't want to do, don't over-explain your reasoning! Simple responses such as "Sorry, I can't this time" or "I have plans that day" are the best kinds of short answers to give to someone. The more details you offer, the more there will be to argue about. The other person may try to change your mind or decide that your excuse isn't good enough. Remember, you don't have to explain yourself to anyone if you don't want to do what their asking you for!
4. Do Something Someone Told You Not to do
Do one thing you have been wanting to do, but were told you shouldn't. Maybe it's a new hair cut or color you wanted that your friend said you shouldn't do, or even getting a tattoo! You don't want to regret not doing something later on in life simply because you went along with other people who told you not to. At the end of the day it should be about doing things to make yourself happy, not everyone around you!
5. Prioritize before Saying "Yes"
Sometimes you say yes to doing things for others, so much, that things you need to get done for yourself get put on the back burner. In order to make sure this doesn't happen, prioritize the things you've been meaning to do and make time to actually accomplish them. Make a commitment that you're not going to say "yes" to any other task or activity until you get the majority of your personal things done. Plus, this way you have plenty of excuses to say "no" when asked to do something you don't have time for.
6. Would This Person do the Same
Before taking on any task for someone else, think if the person asking would do the same for you. If your friend, family member, or co-worker would never do for you what they asked you to do for them, say "no." Most likely, this sort of person is merely taking advantage of your kindness. However, if this person has done favors for you in the past and you can picture doing this same task for you, then say "yes." But still be sure that you definitely have the free time to spare before committing to help!
7. Learn to Be Okay with Disappointing Others
Always remember that you can’t keep everyone happy all the time. If you tell someone "no" they of course are going to feel disappointed, but that is okay. If anything, try to lend an alternative option to show that you do care about their issue, but they need to find someone else to help if you can't. Start being confident about your decisions and what you want to do. You cannot be responsible for other people’s happiness, you are only responsible for your own.
Every time you say "no" to a request you'd rather not commit to, you say "yes" to something else! Maybe it's an hour you could use to do something nice for yourself like take a hot bubble bath, read a good book or play with your dog. The more time you can give to the things you truly care about, the more satisfying your life will feel. Do you feel like you are too much of a "yes" person? If so, give us some tips that have worked for you regarding how to stop being a "yes" person.
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