When I was writing my new book Do Over, I had to tell a lot of people “no” so that I could focus on finishing it.
I hate telling people “no.” Telling people “yes” is a lot easier and makes them seem to like me. Granted, I don’t like me in those moments.
I get mad at me. Why did I say yes to something I know I don’t want to do, something that I don’t feel called to do, something that I agreed to simply because I didn’t want to disappoint someone?
One of the reasons is that I’m afraid that if I tell someone no they will be angry. They will be hurt. They will shame me into saying yes or will demand I justify my no to them. That’s happened to me often.
I’ve learned an interesting lesson about that though.
If you tell someone “no” and they react in anger, they just confirmed you made the right decision.
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If you tell someone no and they try to shame you into a yes, they’ve just confirmed you made the right decision.
If you tell someone no and they berate you, they’ve just confirmed you are a genius.
Say yes when you’re supposed to. Help as many people as you can. Be honest with your answer.
But when someone gets upset at your “no,” thank them for the confirmation and move on.