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Why is it hard to say "NO"? Reward $2
Created by kimi, 1707 days ago, 2790 views

Do you find that it is really difficult to say "No" in some conditions, and how to get through that?

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√ Best Answer


TailsNigower1706 days ago

To keep it simple, because no one likes to disappoint, just as no one likes to be disappointed.

Sometimes refusing to say no will just make you disappoint yourself, though.

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brendaniel1707 days ago

Read this article, it will help you ...

Dave wasn’t quite ready to get married, but his girlfriend, Lizzie, had made it clear that the time had arrived. She brought it up almost daily. “We’ve been together for four years,” she said. “I know you love me. We’re really happy together. So why you don’t want to marry me?”

Dave knew she was right. He loved Lizzie and wanted to be with her forever. But some part of him still wanted to say “no” to marriage, at least for the moment. He just couldn’t explain it to her.

Janie had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and her friends were pressuring her to sign up to an Internet dating site. But Janie was reluctant. “My biggest problem is not whether or not any guys will be interested in me,” she said a little shyly. “I’m sure someone out there will be. But what if I’m not interested in them? How do I politely reject someone? I just hate the idea of hurting someone’s feelings. And what if someone doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer? It’s hard for me to be really firm.”

Larry’s buddies were going to an expensive club. Larry didn’t have that kind of money to blow on a night of drinking, and he also didn’t really want to get wasted, which he knew was going to be the end result of the evening. But he could not figure out how to get out of it without pissing off all of his friends.

Susie had landed a paying internship at the company of her dreams. She knew that she was starting at the bottom, but she had hopes that her new employers would be impressed by her abilities and that she would quickly move up in the business. At her interview she had said that she would be willing to do anything they wanted, but really, she had no idea that they were going to expect her to keep the kitchen clean and pick up coffee and doughnuts for the morning meeting.

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

In a recent Forbes Business article Jonathan Becher offers several quotes from powerful men who consider “no” to be an important part of a successful life strategy: Here are just three of his examples:

Steve Jobs: “Focusing is about saying ‘no.’”

Warren Buffett: “We need to learn the slow ‘yes’ and the quick ‘no.’”

Tony Blair: “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

But for many of us, it’s not so easy to develop this art.

Why is this?

Fear of conflict

Many of us are afraid of conflict. We don’t like others to be angry with us or critical of us. We therefore avoid saying “no” when we are afraid that it will put us into conflict with someone else, whether that someone is an intimate partner, a colleague or friend, or a supervisor or boss. Many of us also try to avoid battles with our children, because we feel that if we say “no” to them, they will stop loving us.

As children we are taught not to go against authority. We are supposed to do what parents, teachers, and others in power tell us to do. We obey because of fears of being punished, but also because of a desire to please and be loved by these people who are very important to us. We carry this worry with us into adulthood.

But we are also pulled by a desire to fit in with and be liked by our peers. Research has shown that men and women have a tremendous need to belong to a peer group. Whether boy or girl, man or woman, we desire acceptance by our friends, or the people we want to be friends with, as a way of establishing and maintaining a sense of identity, of “selfness.”

Don’t want to disappoint or hurt someone

So, you don’t want to tell your mom you won’t be home for the holidays because she’ll be so disappointed. Okay, makes sense, right? Sometimes we do things that make others feel better, even if it’s not quite what we want to do. But what if she’s going to be disappointed that you are making a job or a career choice that she doesn’t like, but that is your total dream? Or what about something small, like disappointing a friend by not going out to dinner with her when you’ve got a huge work project due the next day? Or even smaller, what if you and your boyfriend or girlfriend can’t agree on a restaurant or a movie? Do you give in so that they won’t be disappointed?

Desire to be unique

Yet we are also encouraged to think “outside the box,” to focus on our unique talents and our personal truths. Most of us want to be viewed as special in some way, as different from the very group that we belong to. It is sometimes this need to be seen as a separate person that drives those of us who defy authority, often to our own detriment. “You’re not the boss of me,” shouted at some time or another by many young children, is a driving life force for all of us. But of course defiance and purposefully unacceptable behavior can backfire. It can make you stand out, but it can also separate you from the very group that you want to belong to.

Here’s a funny thing about the quality of specialness and difference. It seems that for many of us, feeling different feels best within the context of an accepting, affirming peer group!

Harder for women?

My PT colleague Kathryn Lively writes that women often have difficulty saying “no” to men, because we want to get along, want to be nice and don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings. In my work as a therapist over the years, I have certainly seen plenty of examples of this phenomenon; but I have also worked with many men who don’t say “no” because they don’t want to “rock the boat.”

What can you do about it?


There are many techniques for getting better at saying “no,” once you’ve located some of the psychological reasons that make it difficult.

Marcia Linehan, creator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), suggests practicing saying “no” in small, unimportant situations, like not buying something at a drugstore.
Eating disorder specialist and my PT colleague Susan Albers suggests that you stop and breathe before saying “yes,” in order to give yourself a little space and an opportunity to assess and respond to your own needs.
Seek advice. We’ll talk more about this in a moment, but in essence the point is to get backup for your own position.
Don’t be fooled by the word “everyone else…” It is almost universally untrue that everyone else is doing the same thing or wants you to do whatever is being asked of you.
Take a minute to ask yourself how bad the guilt, anxiety, disappointment or other emotions you might feel if you don’t do whatever’s being asked of you will be. Can you tolerate them? Is it worth it to do that thing in order not to feel those feelings?
Assess the fallout. How bad will it be? Again, is it worth it to give in? Or not to?Consider that there is no perfect answer. If you say “yes” this time, you can try “no” sometime later. And maybe, just maybe, “yes” this time will make it easier to say “no” the next time.
Remember that you can change your mind in most cases. Don’t get trapped by the belief that you only have one opportunity. There will be many more (see above).
And finally, remember that sometimes “yes” is actually a better answer. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
Getting backup

So how does this fit with saying “no”? It seems that most of us feel much better about saying “no” to someone if we have the backup of some buddies or folks that we trust.

Dave, for example, talked to his brothers and sister about his quandary with Lizzie. They helped him to put into words what he was feeling, and also to think about what was going on for Lizzie. After several conversations, he was able to explain to Lizzie that he loved her very much but wanted to ask her to marry him on his own time. Every time she brought it up, he felt like she was telling him what to do – “like my Mom, not my future wife.” They agreed that this theme of Lizzie acting like his Mom and Dave acting like a kid was something they needed to work on in their relationship in general. But now that they had a way of talking and thinking about why he was dragging his heels, Lizzie actually didn’t feel the need to keep pressuring him anymore!

Janie’s friends offered her a variety of techniques for saying “no” to guys, from “ghosting” or simply not answering their calls, which she said she could never do, to saying nicely but firmly that she simply didn’t think it was going to work. “It’s just part of the process,” she realized. “It’s not me being a mean or bad person.”

Larry also talked to a couple of friends who were not part of the drinking group. They told him that they just saw it as a waste of their time. “You spend a ton of money on something that leaves you feeling miserable and that affects your performance the next day,” they told him. “And the truth is, those guys won’t even notice if you don’t go. They’re just pushing you because they want the company.” To Larry’s amazement, they were right. He simply said that he couldn’t do it the next time, and after a couple of tries to change his mind, the other guys left him alone. And there was no change in the way they treated him at work. “I don’t even know that they realized I wasn’t there in the end,” he said.

Sometimes, “no” is the wrong word

Susie’s situation was a little different. In her case, after talking to several friends who supported her indignation – “you weren’t hired as a gofer or a maid!” said one, and “they wouldn’t do that to a guy,” said another – Susie talked to an older mentor, who said that in fact they would and had done exactly the same with male interns, that she was at the very bottom of the ladder, and that if she hung in there and made herself as useful as possible, not just in menial tasks but also doing research for projects and even, when appropriate, offering thoughts or ideas about current and future projects, she would soon find herself moving up the ladder. Her mentor said that she was not encouraging her to make herself into a doormat or that she accept inappropriate demands, but that in this particular case saying “no” would be counterproductive. And she then pointed to two senior members of the staff and said that they had each been interns at one time – and had each cleaned the fridge and brought coffee to the other staff.

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pustoi111707 days ago

it does not difficult. the only thing you need to do is to think primarily about their own interests. as the person asks you to do something that you do not need to think about their own interests. ask the person to respond to your service, to do what is beneficial to you. and if he refuses, then why should you have to agree? This means that it is waiting for you that will never make myself to you. if you agree that you will not find yourself a loser. Many people do not understand, and it is necessary, gently, to show how it is not convenient to accept

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drmittilo1707 days ago

I think: that all the relationships that are outside of marriage, in the sin of fornication, God does not allow such unions. If the couple want to be together, you have to marry, if one does not want to is that not to greater responsibilities.

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MrDeng1707 days ago

Just think the bad consequence that you wouldn't meet,then you will be easier to say no.

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igor1707 days ago

Our consciousness, our soul counts on consent, on the answer "Yes". All of us wait for consent. "No" always heats human relations even if you refuse for the objective reasons and even if you are right, inside naturally there is a discomfort. Why to cause discomfort, to feel guilty that in vain refused, it is better to agree.

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Aravi1706 days ago

Hi @kimi

It is not hard to say no but it depends on what you think. I find the same problem when it comes to my work. I can say no but If we know how important that work is then Just can't avoid saying no.


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jdfromtn1706 days ago

@kimi The basic need most people have is to be liked and accepted by everyone they meet. Saying "no" is just not in character for them because they feel an overwhelming fear that the person(s) they are saying "no" to won't like them any more. To overcome the fear of saying "no" you must learn to prioritize. Is it more important to please others or to please yourself? This may sound "self"-ish but it is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy self-image.

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nuklin1706 days ago

Cultivate the habit of saying "please give me some time to think about it first" Second, you should understand that you are being kind to satisfy your conscience, not basically for your kindness to be reciprocated so you have the right to say No especially when you are being taken for granted. Being likeable is not about being generous but being diligent in all your ways so don't buy attention with your resources but with your kind attitude of respect for all. A good advice is worth more than millions of dollars; try giving advice instead of resources and see the difference. Good luck!

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zrodfects1706 days ago

Two words is the only answer "Being considerate" people tend to say no because they want to be the better person that helped for whatever reason and to also not disappoint the person who asked.... it is also just us people being human, being human is one of the hardest things to explain because we do things naturally, learning from mistakes, trying to be nice to others, at times failing or doing the wrong thing, again all boils down to being human, some people are shy some are not this too builds on confidants.

But our brains tend to work with trial and error, where we go to say yes or no at the wrong time, but the most stupidest thing humans do is get bent out of shape because someone said no when they were expecting a yes or vise versa or did the wrong or stupid thing, this strangely would come from someone who would most likely have done wrong in the past and in some cases worse than what the problem currently at hand, this is why it is stupid, no one has gone through life doing right all the time be it a big thing or super tiny, humans are not that much different than a computer, if a program fails it needs to try different programming/approach to get going again or to fix the situation.

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kimi1706 days ago


Sorry, confused about your explanation, would you like to make it clear? thanks.

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kimi1706 days ago


sounds reasonable. thanks.

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kimi1706 days ago


I am afraid that if I say "No", it will make my friend disappoint. So I have to say "Yes" on the things which I am really unwilling to do. Terrible!

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pustoi111706 days ago

My English is poor. therefore I try to explain briefly with a simple example. I exaggerate, you will be asked to vote for Clinton, but you want for Trump. you say that you agree, but only if they vote for Trump. it turns out that you, like, have agreed. I hope you understand the logic. this scheme can be applied to nearly any occasion.

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kimi1706 days ago


Thanks, got it this time. Agree!

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jeetkml1705 days ago

NO, NO, NO, IT'S SO EASY, but when you feel difficult say No, that mean you are caring about his/her feeling.

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maren1705 days ago

It's only depends from your character. Strong character don't care about meaning
others what he say. Say reasonable, don't say something what other except to hear!

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h_rodriguez7711704 days ago

It may be hard to say no to some things but you have to keep in mind what is best for everyone involvedand do the right thing. Even if its hard.

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pustoi111704 days ago

unfortunately, often agree with me, but do differently. choosing, because of their own personal prejudices, not quite the right decisions. people easier on experience, "stuff the bumps", instead, choose the best solution, based on the experience of others.

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cosgood19691703 days ago

One of the reasons why it is so hard to say no is that we as human beings are wired from birth to do what others say and ask. It takes two weeks to form a habit, so one can imagine how hard it will be for a person who has been working there entire lives to please others first before looking at themselves and core needs.

It is interesting what the human mind will do when you do say no to someone. You think they are going to get mad. If you are honest with the person about why you cannot do a particular thing, for the most part , the person will understand. Now I understand There are situations that can be un winnable and very challenging. But if you really look at the number of negative situations compared to the positive ones, the positive ones do out number the negative. The reason why that doesn't seem accurate at times is because we live in an information age that makes money off of reporting the negative because that is what sells. We are constantly bombarded with negative all the time and we just want to have one positive thing to happen so will choose to say yes at all costs.

This negative chain reaction that I described in the previous paragraph can make a person just want to say yes to anything. Remember that your feelings matter. It is ok to say no.


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vickyph841700 days ago

because your not use to saying it even to your love ones its even harder.

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capybara1700 days ago

To Brendaniel:

Glad to see that you are so invested in this site...but honestley, have you nothing else to do?

Multi-paragraphed, overly verbose, run-on sentences and self serving rhetoric will only take you so far.

Are you trying to compensate for something?

Why say "blah, blah, blah, blah" when you can just say "blah"?

Just sayin' is all.

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