You're asked to do something, and you feel you should say no. However, if you say no, you'll be resented, so you are tempted to say yes. If you say yes, you're going to be frustrated with yourself and angry with them.
Research shows this cycle of awful feelings does damage to your relationships.
Agreeing on every activity is easy and can also become our default reaction. It fills our calendars with so many tasks and we are playing a losing game thereafter, making more commitments than we can keep, and leading to unfulfilled obligations. When we are overcommitting, it is leading to us getting burned out and hurting our network in the process.
When we are asked for something, we end up reacting, rashly and impulsive, as it subtly awakens our fight-or-flight mode.
Social media has made unwanted requests and their ignoring easier, training us to quietly ignore anything we don’t like, or cannot commit to, but with the security of the other person not getting any kind of rejection.
The best way to say no apparently is to say nothing at all, at least on the virtual front.
Let go of the pretense that if you play nice, they will play nice.
Know your vulnerabilities and focus on the one thing that really needs to change: yourself. You can only control what you do.
Set some boundaries for yourself. Be prepared for the consequences and set a support system.
Memorize the list of tactics used by an aggressive person. Then it is easier to recognize the attack.
If you're willing to accept an excuse, know that they will fling excuses at you until one stick.
Stay calm and polite, and avoid sarcasm, hostility, or threats.
Without being rude, be specific about what you expect or want from the other person. Aggressives will only participate if they can get something out of it. If they have to lose, they'll make sure you go down too. Ensure you propose win-win solutions
In a world of more requests than we can possibly fulfill, learning how to say no with grace and style is a skill we all need. We should be saying no more than we say yes, although the opposite is usually true. We say yes too quickly and no too slowly.
E-mail is also a good way to start practicing saying "no but" because it gives you the chance to draft and redraft your "no" to make it as graceful as possible. Plus, many people find that the distance of e-mail reduces the fear of awkwardness.