Why do we often say “yes” when we’d rather say “no?” Most of us like to be obliging and, in general, agreeing is easier than the alternative. But when we offer an easy “yes” we risk overcommitting our time, energy or even money (Tweet it!).
Saying ”no” can restore our autonomy (http://nyti.ms/2yIPrde).
But some of us have to learn how to do it. One technique is called refusal strategy. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research, by Professor Vanessa M Patrick and Henrik Hagtvedt, found that saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” helped participants to avoid unwanted commitments.
Salesperson pushing you to open a store credit card? “Sorry, I don’t use anything except my Frequent Flyer Rewards card.” Co-workers pressuring you to go out drinking? “No, I don't go out during the week.” Of course it’s more difficult when your boss asks you to take on yet another project, but you can try phrasing your “don't” positively, as in “I don't want my other pressing project to suffer.”
Naturally, we can’t say “no” to everything, but it’s easier to say no when you know how to say it. And the more you say it, the easier it gets.
Do you say “yes” more often than you want? In what situations does this happen? What methods have you used for tempering this habit? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion