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16 Things You Don’t Need To Say Yes All the Time (Though You Think You Do)

16 Things You Don’t Need To Say Yes All the Time (Though You Think You Do)

There are two words I consider one of the most powerful and influential, namely “yes and “no.” The right combination of them and using the right one according to the situation guarantees you more happiness, health and wealth.

To be nice and avoid hurting others, we often say yes though we feel like saying no. Whereas empathy is a good feature to have, being a people-pleaser has terrible consequences.

If you ever regretted saying yes, these 16 examples will help you to not make the same mistake again.

1. You don’t need to say yes to people asking for your time.

Some say time is money, but in reality, there’s one thing that makes time the real wealth. Namely, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Whereas money can always be made up, time never goes back.

Now, don’t misunderstand it with being insensitive ignorant, it’s far from that! When someone ask for your time, don’t say yes when it conflicts with your personal priorities. If you think this person deserves your attention, schedule one day of a month when you can devote your attention to them.

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2. You don’t need to say yes to people asking for your money.

There is an adage which says don’t let your friends borrow money unless you don’t mind never getting it back. If you can’t accept them never paying back, it’s a sign you should decline. Borrowing money can destroy your relationships with other people and make your life really tense. Oftentimes, it’s better to deal with the temporary discontent when you say no than experience the problems later on.

3. You don’t need to say yes to people who clearly exploit you.

When someone approaches you only during struggles, you are just a tool to solve their problems. It’s when somebody only takes and never gives that you should consider stop saying yes. Sure, you should contribute value to other people’s lives, but folks who batten on generosity are not ones who deserve it.

4. You don’t need to say yes to please your friends.

Saying no to a friend is tricky. You care about them and feel obliged to act accordingly. The truth is, a real friend will accept your refusal because they value your close friendship. It’s false people who leave you in case of disagreement.

5. You don’t need to say yes while under social pressure.

Social pressure can be a huge obstacle to overcome. People expect you to go with the flow and please them. Saying no requires courage and confidence but oftentimes it’s a lifesaving decision. Every time you don’t say yes under a big group pressure, you clearly show your values which everyone respects even whey they don’t admit it.

6. You don’t need to say yes so you fit in.

Similar to the previous example, people in the crowd subordinate so in order to not stick out, you are expected to submit to their influence. But at some point everyone comes to the conclusion that fitting in is unnecessary and only causes regrets.

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7. You don’t need to say yes when rules and dogmas limit you.

Different environments set clear expectations toward behavior within the group. Whereas some rules are necessary so the society can function, there are many dogmas you have a full right not to follow. Embrace who you are and don’t let the outdated doctrines change it.

8. You don’t need to say yes to tradition and religion.

Born among people who set religion and tradition as the highest priority, you are expected to worship these values. If, however, deep in heart you don’t consider them as truths, that’s a clear sign to refuse following them.

When I stated to my family that I see religion differently than they do, I faced disapproval. As the time goes by, however, the tension expires and you feel proud of being your true self.

9. You don’t need to say yes to your parents.

Being able to do this is might be as hard as it is to differentiate between following your heart and being unappreciative toward your parents. They love you and want you to live the best life possible, but sometimes it’s you who knows better your deepest desires.

When you parents expect you to choose a certain career path, remember it’s you and not them who will be obliged to that lifestyle.

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10. You don’t need to say yes to your boss.

Be cautious, I don’t intend to make you lose your job! But then again, if you do have alternatives and your current boss destroys your life, maybe it’s time to say goodbye and part ways.

11. You don’t need to say yes to things that make your priorities secondary.

If you don’t respect your values, nobody will. You are responsible for what happens in your life and it’s the moment when you fully accept this responsibility when you can finally give your goals the top priority.

12. You don’t need to say yes to things fighting for your attention.

Today’s world attacks you with distractions on a regular basis. A skill to ignore stuff begging for your attention is invaluable to survive. Remember, whatever you decide to pay attention to, you might be neglecting things that actually matter.

13. You don’t need to say yes to sales and extra offers.

I know it’s often hard not to lose your mind during the sales. And marketers are people who know it best. Various psychology tricks are applied to make you say yes and follow the sales funnel.

At first, you feel instant happiness, but then, as your wallet gets thinner and what you bought collects dust, you begin questioning whether saying no wouldn’t be a wiser decision.

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14. You don’t need to say yes to email offers.

As someone who likes to subscribe to interesting newsletters, I know how  tempting certain offers are. You are presented with an almost perfect offer. As a result, a new need is created and a product for its satisfaction sold. But if you wouldn’t open the email, would you even desire that very product or service?

15. You don’t need to say yes to time-suckers.

Television, Internet or Social Media, these are all the wonders of technology which revolutionized the world of communication and information. But if you don’t control them, they will control you. It’s easy to get lost staring at the screen and mindlessly wasting your time. Your brain tends to say yes to comfortable situations and time-suckers definitely count to that.

As we determined in the first point, your time is the most precious resource so protecting it is obligatory.

16. You don’t need to say yes to notifications.

I disabled every possible digital notification, expect an app that reminds me to work out and it does it at the right time. But it wasn’t always like that. Facebook notifications would immediately catch my attention and destroy my focus. Almost any serious app makes sure to notify its users so they stay engaged and active.

Whereas it’s definitely beneficial to the founders, it’s incredibly harmful to yourself. Turn off every unnecessary notification and never again say yes to distractions begging for your attention.

Featured photo credit: web4camguy via flickr.com

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Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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