Do you have a hard time saying No? Are you thinking your New Year’s resolution might be to say No more? But wait, you like saying yes. You are a Yes person. It makes you happy. It makes others happy. You don’t want to be a grouchy No person. Consider this: most of the time there is a way to say Yes to the request coming at you. (First of all many things coming at you are actually a “request” that can be accepted or declined even if they don’t sound like it. Flashing lights behind you on the freeway wanting you to pull over are not a request, but many things are.)
Ask yourself – What can I say Yes to about this? You could be a yes to the intention behind it. You could be a yes to helping find someone to do that thing that is being asked of you. You could be a yes to doing that exact thing being asked of you, but at a different time. You could be a yes to doing this very thing “next time”. You can always leave people honored in the request they made of you without being the one who has to do it.
They were smart to ask you to do that thing. They are not jerks for asking you, and for not knowing how busy you are. In fact, you were a great pick for that thing they need help with. However, that doesn’t mean you’re available, and it doesn’t mean you have to make yourself available.
Some gracious examples of finding something to say Yes to, regarding the request coming at you:

  • Thank you for asking me (considering me/ thinking of me), but I can’t this time. Will you please invite me again in the future?
  • I’m not available for that, but let me think of who might be. Have you thought of Sue? Do you want me to see if she can do it?
  • I can’t do that next Friday, but I could do it the following week. Would that work?

We invite you to go practice being a Yes, without being the answer and solution to everyone’s problems! Let us know how it goes!