As an ESFP-A on the Myers-Briggs personality test, I struggle with pleasing people.
I want to make people happy. I want to make sure everyone is having a good time.
In doing so, I have a hard time telling others no.
Having this personality type doesn’t mean I can’t learn how to say no. I can and I’ve been working on saying no.
If you’re like me, let’s look at the reasons we need to say no.
Why You Need To Say No
I’m a free spirit. I’ll go where the wind pushes me.
That also means I’ll often go where others want me to and not where I want to. This can get you, and me, into trouble.
That’s why we need to learn to say no. But how do we say no?
We realize what saying Yes is really doing.
Realize saying yes is hurting you and others:
You may be like me and want to please everyone all the time. We do this by saying Yes and rarely raising a complaint.
When we do this, we’re hurting ourselves. Not only are we hurting ourselves by saying yes, we’re hurting those we’re trying to please.
A yes that’s a begrudged yes should be a no. We’re not doing anybody a favor by agreeing to do something and not feeling good about it.
We begin to build animosity against those we didn’t want to say yes to. We detract from areas of our lives that need our attention. And we begin to worry about problems that aren’t ours.
Saying yes is hurting you more than saying no.
Realize saying yes takes your valuable time:
I love to help others. I want to see them become better and get their ideas out there.
However, by saying yes to everything, I fail to say yes to the things that matter in my life.
A yes to a meeting could be a no to time with my wife. Or a yes to writing for another publication means I’m saying no to writing a portion of my book.
Every yes is a no to something else.
Saying yes can take time away from what’s really important to you.
Realize saying yes can take you off-track:
Steve Jobs once said
It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.
By over-committing, we point ourselves in the wrong direction. We are no longer focused on our goal but the goals of others.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But getting off track is.
Saying yes redirects our focus away from the goals we set.
As we begin to realize the cost of saying yes, we can make saying no easier.
Count the cost of saying yes. If it’s too much, say no.
Look at whether or not it’s actually helping someone. If it’s not, say no.
Determine if saying yes keeps you on track or takes you in the wrong direction. If it is, say no.