Do you stop what you are doing to assist a coworker with advice or a problem? Do you answer your phone on the first ring…every time? Does your schedule look like a tangled web of events that all blend into one giant mess? Do you always feel tired and can comfortably say you are “burning your candle from both ends?”
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you are the epitome of a yes man. Last time I checked, “yes man” is not in suffix category on an application; therefore, it’s not a term that should define you.
Essentially, a “yes man” is a people-pleaser. You tend to always put others’ needs before you own, at your own expense. It’s not a glamorous job. Unfortunately, becoming a people-pleaser is actually a dangerous path, as it can affect your physical, mental and social well-being.
We have probably said yes more than enough times and it has caused us stress. However, if you feel that you are saying “yes” without even blinking an eye like Jim Carrey, maybe it’s time to reevaluate how you view your options.
Say no. Easier said than done, right? If you want to change how you live your life, start by making your own decisions.
Below are 10 great ways to start you on the path to your own success and happiness.
The Power of “No”: 10 Ways to Avoid Being a Yes Man
1. The Power of Choice
Many people struggle with addiction. Believe it or not, saying yes to everything is also an addiction. Often times, our guilt, fear and anxiety rule our minds when we say no. It’s like going through a sort of withdrawal. You crave the need to please everyone, no matter the cost.
Much like coping with an alcohol addiction, the first step is recognizing that you have a problem. In this case, recognize that you have a choice. You can say “yes” or “no.” Instead of feeling trapped, consider other options and weigh what is best for your well-being.
2. Know Your Priorities
Put yourself first. This may seem like a selfish notion, but in actuality, you are practicing living a healthy lifestyle. Consider what the most important thing for you to focus your energy on and give it all you’ve got.
Make a list of tasks or schedule some downtime and follow-through with your plan. You’ll feel more satisfied and rejuvenated.
3. Think Before You Answer
Most questions or favors asked of you do not require immediate attention. If they do, see if the timing is appropriate for you and determine if you need to be directly involved. It’s okay to tell your friend or colleague that you need some time to think about it. You’ll grant yourself the chance to step away from the immediacy and pressure and have time to evaluate the pros and cons of your decision.
4. Embrace a Mantra
Develop a saying that you repeat over and over to yourself. It can remind you to say no or consider your priorities first. Make sure that your message is positive and only propels you forward. Envision your mantra multiple times every day, and before you know it, this practice will become a good habit.
5. Don’t Fall on the Defense
You don’t need to provide an excuse or reason to defend your decision. More often than not, your reason is your own business.
Like a mother telling their child, “because I said so,” is answer enough. You were given free will. Embrace it.
6. Never Apologize
This isn’t a “get out of jail free” card. If you were at fault, of course you need to apologize. However, this goes for the yes men that say sorry for every decision they make. Don’t feel the need to feel guilt about your decision. This will only promote anxiety and unwanted stress.
7. Develop an Assertive Tone
Going along with never saying you’re sorry (unless there’s reason), be confident with your choices. Remind yourself that you have a good head on your shoulders and you will weigh your decisions and logically sort through what is best for you. Once you decide, go confident in your answer and remain firm. No backsliding.
8. See the Good in Saying “No”
Don’t always see saying “no” as letting down another person. See it as an opportunity to do something to make you happy and focus on your wants and needs. You will start to notice your schedule will slowly clear up.
9. Don’t Be Afraid of the Aftermath
Never dwell on what people think about your decision. Chances are they’ve moved on before you have. Fixating on your answer will cause you to stress and worry too much. Let it go.
10. You are Only Human
At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone. So, instead of trying to be a superhero, try to assess your priorities and put yourself first.