Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

How often do you say yes when you want to say no? Oh, they all say – all the time!

Yet don’t we also instantly get hit with yes-remorse every time we do this? Our inner voice yells at us “Why didn’t you just say no?!”

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Is it that we want to be liked? Is it that we crave acceptance, or are avoiding conflict? Or that we want to be perceived a certain way? Is it a mix of all of the above? While our behaviour is the same, we all have our own individual motivations.

The bottom line is, by saying yes, we are saying no to other things. And those things are more than likely the things that deserve to be prioritised. By saying yes, we are often over-committing ourselves to things we don’t want to do. This then creates a snowball effect of resentment and stress.

We know this but still do it anyway.

So what do we do?

We get true to our priorities and ourselves. By doing so, we boost our wellbeing and reduce the stresses of inner conflict and over-commitment.

Sounds simple right? Unfortunately saying no can be a very hard thing to do. But like anything, practice makes perfect!

Action Steps

There are so many things I could share with you on this topic but here are two principles to keep it short and simple…

1. Try to be mindful about saying yes
Take a moment before you respond. Yes is often the first response that comes to mind because it’s easier. But take a moment, consider, and then reply. Don’t say yes out of habit or from being on auto-pilot.

2. Practice getting comfortable with saying no
Start with a warm thank you for the invitation/suggestion, say no, say why (only if that’s kind to do), and express support for their event/offer. Like learning to ride a bike, it gets easier with practice!

Being mindful about what you agree to (and don’t) is a key pathway to a happy, balanced, and fulfilled life.

It’s a busy time of year that often brings lots of invitations and expectations… in what situations could you practice saying no this week?


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