¨Yes sure, I will do that¨ and after you think…..¨Why did I just say yes?¨

Does that happen often to you? For some reason we find it really difficult to say no! We think with saying no, that we are weak and with saying yes that we can handle it all and we do not want to say no, because what would the other person think if I do?

Why do we do this? I asked this myself many times, I never understood this. Why do I say yes, when I know I do not want this? So I started to dig into this and stop saying yes if I did not wanted to it or simply did not have time to do it.

Basically, we are just being too nice. We do not like to feel that we have let ourselves down and also not the person who is asking you. When saying no, a lot of times people feel rude and most of the time directly after they have said no, they ask things like ¨Are you mad?¨ or ¨I am sorry, hope you understand¨.

But being honest and saying you would not like to do something nor accept something is not a sign of being weak and not wanting to help someone. Not at all! This means that you know what is important for you and that you are not going to do something where you do not have time for or no interest for.

We say yes when we mean no examples:

Guilt – she/he would be angry or think I am selfish if I do not do it

Need for power –  If I say ‘no’, they will think I cannot handle it

Desire to please – she/he would be happy if I do it

Fear of hurting someone – afraid to hurt feelings

Deference to authority – she/he is my boss so I cannot say no


Set boundaries; know what you want and not

Be firm; some people will not accept a no, but do not let them change your mind. They need to respect your no

Put the question back; ask them if it is really necessary or how high the priority is for example.

Be assertive and courteous; You could say I am sorry, I do not have time now. When I do, I will let you know.

It is not easy, but you really need to put yourself for, your to do list and daily planning comes first. Do you have time to do something extra? If you say yes to that, to what would you need to say no?

Will it bring you in problem on getting other tasks done when saying yes to help someone out when it is not really necessary?

Think about those things before you say ¨Yes¨.

And you are not selfish when you say no, it does not mean you are a bad person. It means you put your priorities at number one and they should understand that!

Ready to grow even more? Download my cheat sheet of the personal SWOT analysis and figure out what makes you more successful. Click here.


  • Stephanie Steggehuis

    NLP Mindset & Time Management Coach

    Just Know How Coaching

    Stephanie was born in The Netherlands and studied Marketing & Communication at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. She worked for many years in the Event & Entertainment Industry with the biggest Venues, Festivals and Parties. Beside her experience there she has also worked many years in the corporate world for some big names such as eBay and worked in various positions in different companies from Manager, Director and Vice President.  Today she is certified as a Neuro-Linguistic Programmer Coach and has completed over 125 hours in training for coaching. She always is studying the human brain, psychology, and mindset, to keep understanding the human being a hundred percent to help her clients in the best way possible. The most significant changes start with understanding the brain!