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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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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