Assertivity: Saying No

Saying No is often incredibly difficult for people who aim to please others.

You say No to children to give them boundaries, why not use No against adults?

Employers stimulate ‘Yes’ from employees. Not wrong in itself, but there has to be a balance between Yes and No.

We wrestle with No in groups, because we want to be part of the group and subject our own will to the effort. A No has to be motivated, a Yes doesn’t, so Yes is easier.

People who cannot say No, come short in defending their own wellbeing and send out the message ‘I’ll do what you want’. This alone give aggressive people the opportunity for abuse.

If other people take too much work on their shoulders, it’s no reason for you to take their burden. Especially if your shoulders are burdened to capacity.

Other people’s emergencies are not automatically your problem. Not even when they share their problems with you. It’s not your problem they cannot assess their own capabilities and it’s no reason for you to re-assess yours.

If you say Yes too often, you’ll have to compensate that with saying No in situations where you find it less difficult to say so. Like to your partner or children. Who are duped by your eagerness to please at work.

The balance is important—saying no to everything will make people think you’re rude or unhelpful, saying yes to everything will make people think you’re a pushover. Where’s the balance?

Silence is not golden. Silence is Yes. Silence is ‘I agree with you’. Either that or you’re considered weak and indecisive. Do not waver. If you cannot make a decision, say you need more information to come to a decision. In no way agree in silence—people can get angry later because your silence gave them the idea you were on their side when you weren’t.

If someone asks for your assistance, it’s important to know if this assistance won’t interfere with previous engagements—at work as well as at home. Write down your appointments in your organizer and never take a decision without consulting your organizer first. Distinguish between informal appointments [which can be cancelled without too many consequences] and fixed appointments [where cancelling can have dire consequences]. Make sure to keep enough time between appointments to avoid ‘running late’.


3 reacties on “Assertivity: Saying No”

  1. It’s an amazing paragraph for all the web visitors; they will get benefit from it I am sure.

  2. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

    • Martyn van Halm schreef:

      I commiserate for the loss of your hard work.

      I have no solution against hackers, except that I create all content offline before I upload it to the internet – this goes for both my Pre-Conflict Control blog and my Amsterdam Assassin blog. I might lose some WordPress specifics, like the tags, but not the true content, which is backed up on my hard drives (both the internal and the external storage).

      Although that won’t help you with the data you lost, it might help you in the future. With some negative things, whether it’s a hacker stealing your data or a thief stealing your laptop, the best thing is to have a multi-layered system to not lose the critical data – your creative content. The rest, while frustrating, is just ‘material loss’, and can also happen because the servers of WordPress explode or your laptop falls down the stairs.

      It’s basic risk management, to assess the risks you run and minimise the damage.

      I hope this helps you.

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