When You Don't Want to Say Yes

When You Don't Want to Say Yes

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Expert Author Susan Leigh
For many of us saying 'yes' can be an automatic response to an invitation or request; we want to be polite, be popular, are flattered to have been invited or asked to join in. We don't want to appear awkward, difficult, unpleasant or ungrateful so we choose instead to go along with what's asked of us, even if deep down inside we're feeling hesitant or unsure. Our gut instinct may be shouting out that we're making a mistake, it's dangerous, that we really don't want to go along with this at all.
What can we do when we really don't want to say 'yes'?
- Sometimes we have to accept that we need to protect ourselves even if it means missing out on things that look exciting or might be 'the best night of the year' How many times have you been to an event that everyone posted pictures about on social media, raved about the next day, when in reality it was simply okay, not that fantastic? People love to take pictures, post 'selfies' online, pretend that 'everyone' is having 'the most wonderful time', when it's usually not that fantastic; they're living life to impress others, create a great image and look the part.
- Appreciate that it's not unusual for other people to breathe a great sigh of relief when one person says 'no' to an idea or suggestion. Some people don't want to be the first to refuse an invite, leave early, say they don't want to do something. But those people will be glad of an opportunity to follow suit and not follow the 'yes' crowd. They simply don't have your courage but will, maybe secretly, appreciate your lead.
- Invent a strict parent. It can be a useful get-out excuse to blame a parent for being difficult, strict, miserable if it helps you get out of doing something you feel is bad or you really don't want to do. From sneaking out to a party, taking drugs, having sex, behaving badly, if you need a little help in doing the right thing then inventing something or someone to give you the strength to do what you need to do can be a big help. You're passing the blame on to someone else.
- Ask for help. An older brother or sister, parent, friend may well understand your problem and be prepared to help you out. They'll understand that you want to be popular, have friends, join in, but don't want to do all the things the others do. Explain as much of the problem as you see fit and ask for the help you need. They'll be pleased to help and will be relieved that you're being sensible, mature and taking good care of yourself.
And remember, over time you'll find your true friends, the people who you can be comfortably yourself with, who share your likes and dislikes, who understand you and are happy to support you and you them. Sometimes it just takes a little time to discover who those people are.

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