A lot of us say Yes too much at Christmas – to invitations, to food, to drinks – and then regret it. But if we regret it then why do we do it?
There are normally two reasons – short term comfort and long term problems saying No
Short term comfort
One of the main reasons we say yes is to avoid awkwardness or discomfort. But how well does that work? If the idea of saying Yes when we want to say No is to avoid immediate awkwardness then that only works in that moment. What it also does though is make you even more uncomfortable in the long-term, now you’re in a situation you didn’t even want to be in – and which you said Yes to!
We don’t avoid discomfort when we think short term and say yes – we actually increase it and make it go on for longer.
Problems saying No
Why we would we do this? Because we have a long-term problem saying No. Maybe we were brought up to believe it was impolite. Maybe we have the kind of self-esteem that means that we don’t feel comfortable saying No.
Think of saying No as a skill. You aren’t going to feel comfortable with a new skill straightaway but if you don’t persist with it you never will.
Try using the “No” sandwich. So, imagine that someone invites you to a party and you don’t want to go. Say something positive about the party, give a reason a reason for not going, and then say something else positive – perhaps that you hope they have a lovely time.
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