I often find myself saying “yes” when I really want to say “no.”
It’s easy to say yes to:
People who know all the guilt buttons to push and won’t take no for an answer.That’s called manipulation and a power play.
Projects you don’t have time for but accept because someone is desperate for your help. That’s called taking advantage of you. Note: Look around and you’ll probably discover they never bother asking people they know will turn them down—just sweet little you.
Events you have no interest in, but agree to attend hoping you’ll be seen in a good light. That’s insecurity with a capital “I”—or worse, disingenuous self-aggrandizement.
Three simple, yet highly effective techniques, will help you get “yes” out of your system so you can put “no” on your lips:
- Don’t listen to the 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. Say something like this: “I hope you’ll understand when I say with all I have on my plate, I can’t add another thing.” Then button your lips. You don’t need to make excuses. 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. Jesus said, Let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matthew 5:37). Forget maybe. Maybe is the wishy-washy coward’s way of saying no. 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.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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