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Saying Yes When You Really Want to Say No

Image of word art spelling no represents saying yes when you want to say no.

Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

How to Say No Respectfully and Courteously

Written by Randi Fine

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

Do you often find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no? Do you feel as if saying no is unkind and selfish? Do you fear the conflict saying no might cause?

We have all felt compelled, one time or another, to say yes to something or someone when we really wanted to say no. We may have agreed to a commitment that we later regretted because we wanted to be nice or polite, feared conflict or confrontation, or worried what others would think of us. Saying no makes many of us feel uncomfortable. We would rather accept the personal sacrifices that come from agreeing than risk the consequences of saying no.

There are a variety of reasons people may find it hard to say no. Some people seek approval, some have the need to always be liked or needed, some fear burning bridges, and some simply do not place enough value on their selves or their time.

When others ask for our commitment many of us assume out of fear or the slant of our own perceptions that we know what those individuals want or are thinking. As a result we may falsely presume how they will react to being turned down, maybe create a scenario in our heads where the repercussions of saying no are very uncomfortable—perhaps catastrophic. In actuality that is rarely the result, but when it is, the other person’s overreaction often signals a bigger problem that cannot be remedied by our compliance. When someone cannot accept “no” as the answer we are not the problem—they are.

A person asking for help or a favor usually has a backup plan. If we say no they will often move on to “Plan B.” They may be disappointed by our response but their world will not be shattered. They will understa