The Upside of No

Saying “yes” feels nice—but not if every fiber of your being is screaming “no!” Before you take on a new commitment that might be more than you can handle well, ask yourself whether you’re doing so because:

You think you can do the task better than anyone else

You want to prove yourself

You don’t want to look weak or appear to be a shirker

You like the limelight

You think whatever you’re saying yes to might be fun

If you say yes to too many requests from friends, family members, colleagues or business partners, you end up feeling stressed, stretched and snarky.

In The Fatigue Prescription: Four Steps to Renewing Your Energy, Health, and Life
, Dr. Linda Hawes Clever says saying no may be better for your health and actually of greater benefit to the person making the request. “ ‘No’ is a way of showing respect for whoever is asking you to take on the commitment or project,” she says.

Her advice: “Take a second to think about some things you wish you had said no to. It may not be too late to change them, and even if it is, this will help you avoid doing the same thing next time.”


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