I know a person who can’t say “no.” If she’s asked to do a project, the answer is “yes.” If someone asks her to go out on the weekend, it’s also “yes.” If anyone wants a favor or money, she always answers in the affirmative. However, as one person she can only do so much. So, she is always canceling dates and appointments, never following through, or bailing out of commitments.
This person considers herself popular, but she’s really not. Almost everyone who knows her eventually ends up getting aggravated with her. We typically dislike those people who constantly get our hopes up and then let us down. That’s exactly what my friend does.
Saying “no” to others can be very difficult, especially for a certain personality type. Some people are just born to be “people pleasers.” They hate confrontation and try to keep every situation as harmonious as possible. So, when they’re asked to do something, they take the easy route by avoiding confrontation and agreeing to it. Yet, later, when it comes time to actually follow through, they typically cancel, usually by indirect methods such as text messages.
If you are this type of person, who agrees to stuff but won’t follow through, then you need to be aware of something: your friends hate it. Have they told you? Probably not (they may be people pleasers themselves!). But, take my word on this: they thoroughly dislike your actions. If you want to continue to have friends, you’ll have to end this behavior.
Basically, it’s as easy as saying “no” upfront. The vast majority of people would rather hear “no” at the start then have to hear you’re not following through at the last minute. For example, let’s say your teacher asks you to stay after school and help move some boxes. You agree, then cancel an hour before the job. If you said “no” at the start, she could’ve found another student to help. But, canceling at the last minute creates additional headaches, since she has to scramble to find a replacement. This is why most people will respect an honest “no” more than a dishonest “yes” that creates more work later.
This means if you have to say “no,” just say it. But, do it with respect. Thank the person for the opportunity (if there is one), but then say you can’t agree to it. You can even give a reason. However, a respectful and polite “no” is always preferable to being a “yes” man or woman when you really have no intention of ever following through.
So, when it comes to saying “yes” all the time? Just say “no.”