Do you remember the scene from Key Largo where Lauren Bacall looks at Humphrey Bogart and says, â€œYou know how to whistle, doncha? Just pucker you lips and blow.â€? Well I find whistling pretty easy but saying the â€œNâ€ word â€“ not so much.
You know the word Iâ€™m talking about, right? â€œNoâ€.
I have always had trouble saying it. If someone asks me to do something, run an errand, or take on another responsibility I say yes whether I want to or not. I donâ€™t want to hurt their feelings with the â€œNâ€ word, I donâ€™t want them to feel rejected â€“ itâ€™s just easier to say yes.
Once I say yes, I am frustrated and overwhelmed because I have so much to do.Â I begin to resent the person for continually asking me to do things when in all truth I really didnâ€™t have to do it. Eventually something hits my last nerve and I blow up.
For some reason women have an especially hard time saying that word. No matter how much we are doing we think we can add another activity to the list whether itâ€™s baking cupcakes or babysitting.
I think the problem is that many of us want other people to be considerate of us, believing that somehow someone is going to say, â€œWhoa! You are busy!â€
Begin practicing with the small things and work up to the really big â€œNoâ€™sâ€ that you have a hard time with. You donâ€™t have to be mean, just be firm.
Can you say no to people?
photo credit: Steve Snodgrass