Cutting on being agreeable and saying ‘Yes’ all the time

Many of us may recall times when we were forced to do something or say ‘Yes’ to whatever simply because we did it previously or ‘gladly’ agreed with it in the past. It was rather an awful feeling because deep down we knew we were better off by saying ‘No’ and doing something else.

It may be hard to recall when exactly this whole thing started, all we know now is that continuing it isn’t feeling right. Besides, when your usual ‘yes’ is expected it may feel like we have no choice, no options and no rights.

Do you think you have other options besides saying ‘Yes’ all the time to something you are not in a mood for ANYMORE or just plain sick and tired of?

If so, then what stops you?

Here is a classic example. Let’s say you are in a relationship with someone who got used to your ‘yes’ to meet every time they want to meet even though it means moving your calendar around and cancelling things to make it happen. Since relationships evolve and things change we may opt to ‘revise’ this scenario and make ‘adjustments’ to make it work for us long-term.

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Just because they got used to your ‘Yes’ it does not mean you ‘owe’ them that ‘yes’ for the duration of an entire relationship. They enjoyed it before, it was working (well, sort of) OK with you and now it is not.

Circumstances change, our priorities change, and so our feelings do too. You may or may not want to explain your reasons, but the fact is that you do have options and a choice to say ‘No’.

Saying the expected ‘Yes’ to whatever produces the sense of being stuck. It is like you have no right to feel differently or to change your mind after saying ‘Yes’ 10 times. Switching from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’ feels scary and uncomfortable because we are worried it may create an awkward situation and/or hurt their feelings.

It could be partially true indeed, because since training them to hear your ‘Yes’ took time, UN-training them will take time as well. They do not know anything different. If they never heard ‘No’ from you, then this is all they know. You cannot sort of blame them for that.

Do not expect a ‘welcome’ carpet on your way to saying to them ‘No’. Adjustments are not easy and therefore the more spoiled they were with your ‘Yes’ the more difficult it will be (for them).

On your end, the only thing you will have to get over is the fear of offending them.

We are worried that if we say ‘No’, the sky will fall down and they may get terribly hurt. We are worried that our ‘Yes’ was the only thing that was making their day: that things will never be the same, everything may get unnecessarily complicated and we may have regrets. So, in essence, we are worried about THEM and their life falling apart.

Stop worrying how your ‘No’ will affect them and start worrying how your ‘Yes’ has been affecting you.

~ saying ‘yes’ to something you no longer enjoy or do not want to do, while pretending to them like you still do, is not healthy

~ your constant ‘yes’ leads to 1) being taken for granted 2) an overblown sense of entitlement on their part.

~ when they feel entitled they develop certain expectations and demands. These two are one step away from abuse and disrespect. Catching my drift here?

~ sometimes saying ‘yes’ is especially difficult because it goes against our own core values and believes which produces conflicting emotions. Go along with your gut and say ‘No’ this time.

~ let your ‘No’ wake them up from a soothing, uncomplicated stream of ‘yeses' and make them pay attention - attention to your life, to you as an individual, to what you feel and what you have got to say.

~ anticipation and dreading the possibility of having to say yet another ‘yes’ is not healthy. Going along with our own preferences and saying a drama –free ‘No’ is much more desirable. That’s the way it is supposed to be!

~ no one should expect to hear your ‘Yes’ all the time. Unless they grew up on an uninhabited island they know what the word ‘No’ means. They certainly have heard it many times in life before and as you can see now, they are doing just fine. Hearing your ‘No’ may lead to a change, but hey, this is life. Nothing stays still and nothing lasts forever.

~ be wary of saying ‘Yes’ to those who do not have your interests at heart or who do not treat you nice. All they deserve is a cold dish made out of your boundaries and multiple ‘Noes'.

If they are a mature adult they should be able to handle your ‘No’. Besides, there is a chance they may not even think of it as a big deal.

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