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Too Much to Do?
Why it’s Hard to Say No and How to Anyway
Posted: July 01, 2008

Do you say yes to requests that commit you to things that you don’t really have time for and that make you feel stressed?

There are many reasons that people say yes, when they really want to say no:

  • Some people have a great sense of duty and obligation. They feel like they have to say yes to almost anything they are asked to do. This kind of person can end up feeling resentful and burned-out. Remember, that taking care of yourself is important, too.
  • Some people just want everyone to like them, and they’re afraid if they say no they might cause the person making the request to reject them. Don’t worry so much. People do accept others saying no in life, and they’ll accept you saying no, too.
  • Some people are afraid they’ll miss out on a big opportunity if they say no to something. If you think doing something will help you achieve some of your own goals, then you should probably do it. Otherwise, remember that there will be other opportunities in life.
  • Some people feel flattered when they are asked to do something. If you need flattery, get it from your friends or family. At work it could cost you lots of extra hours.
  • Some people hate confrontation so much they will do almost anything to avoid it. Most people don’t scream and yell when someone says no, but if they do, they’ll get over it, and so will you.

Some extra tips:

  • If you will have to say no eventually to a request, you should do it as soon as possible.
  • Always know your priorities. If something you’re asked to do doesn’t fit in with you and what you believe, don’t do it. Say no.

- adapted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination by Michelle Tullier

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