Why can't others understand what I'm saying

Learn to say no - without fear

Learn to say no - without fear and a guilty conscience!

Turning someone down or turning down an invitation is not always easy. We say "yes" far too quickly even though we mean "no". Coach Sonja Schneider Blümchen writes how you confidently stand up to your "no".


The author Sonja Schneider Blümchen has been working as a certified trainer and business since the mid-1990s Coach for time and self management.
Her work focuses on individual, practice-oriented solutions for individuals or entire teams from different companies. Her background is a degree in business administration and sound experience in leading positions in marketing, sales and PR.


When "yes" should actually be "no"

There are situations in life that everyone knows. One is surprised, quickly says 'yes' and still means 'no'. For example here: You are sitting comfortably on the sofa, have just relaxed and enjoy doing nothing. The phone rings and you answer it without thinking of anything bad. Friends are on the other end of the line. They want to invite you to the barbecue for next weekend. You say: "Nice, I have nothing to do with that, I'll be happy to come." Now it comes: You will be asked if you could bring your beer tent set and help with the barbecue that evening. You should also prepare your legendary pasta salad. You didn't expect that. Actually, you just wanted to comfortably accept the invitation. Well that! - But what do you say? "Yes I do!" - After the phone call is over, your thoughts rattle and you are pissed: "Why can't the others do their own thing?"


Also read:Maintaining friendships: 10 tips


Selfish? Nope! Why don't we just say NO?

Who doesn't find it difficult to say 'no'? Why is it that we often say 'yes' but mean 'no'? Well, there are different approaches to explanation. For one thing, it's natural that everyone wants to please the other. Everyone wants to do their counterpart a favor. Everyone wants to be loved and feels flattered when someone says: "This is a great person - what he can do!" In addition, there are of course people who want to take advantage of this apparent weakness - this is how you can recognize manipulation.

Feelings of guilt - saying no without negative consequences

In addition, we are often brought up to be of service to others. The gender role also plays a role here. Women in particular often have an even bigger problem saying 'no'. When we grow up, we no longer check this behavior.
Girls were, and sometimes still are, raised to please others and be lovable. In the case of a boy, the parents often do not see it exactly. Usually it is tolerated that boys get dirty. They are also not given as many household chores as the girls. Many have also heard beliefs in their parents' home such as: "What should the others think?", "Don't be careful and adapt", or "First work, then play". We are used to meeting certain expectations from an early age.

Saying no can give you time

As adults, we are constantly running at full speed, so that we often do not have time to think about our actions and to question certain behavior patterns. We often only react instead of acting. Don't let others decide how you spend your time! - Learn to say 'no' because you alone determine how you want to spend your lifetime. Do not let yourself be lured into the yes-man trap!
Determine your own time, find more time for the really important things in life!
Just say 'no' when someone wants something from you and use the time saved for yourself.

Learning to say no - the yes-man analysis

In order to learn to say no, we first need an analysis of your behavior. What type of yes-man are you? Why you say 'yes' in the individual life situations depends very much on your own personality. Everyone works differently.

Yes-Sayer Type 1: Everyone's Favorite
It is a nice feeling to be liked and loved by everyone. But this cannot be achieved in reality, not even if you give everything. Neither in your private life nor in your professional environment can (and will not) please everyone. Have you had the experience that some people only like you when you are doing something for them or when you are useful to them? Recognize the link and decide that you don't need to be liked by everyone. Look carefully when choosing friends and acquaintances.

Are you a social scaredy?
You prefer to avoid the conflict and love a harmonious atmosphere. You may also be afraid of losing your job. Often, however, we are driven by an unfounded fear. Some people are poor at dealing with risks and prefer to say 'yes' to another task. The risk of losing your job or a longstanding friendship is much lower than you think. If you always do everything out of fear of the negative reactions of your fellow human beings, then it robs you of your time, your strength and ultimately your self-determination.

Mother Theresa - everyone needs you!
It is good for you when you have the feeling that you are needed by another person or that you have done something good for someone else. It is your way of enhancing yourself and seeing you as something special. Unfortunately, you often hope in vain for the recognition of others. Rather, it looks like you are doing the work, are often stressed and someone else has freedom for their needs or even get recognition for the work you have done. Draw your self-confidence, the knowledge of your abilities from things that you don't miss out on. Your worth in the family, at work and in society does not always have to be strengthened by additional tasks. Put aside your helper syndrome and develop your inner balance.

Always there? The "party animal" type

You don't want to miss anything, you prefer to be there everywhere. This applies both to your job - you like to be there at every meeting, in every new project, always in the hope that there will be a new professional opportunity for you - as well as in your private environment. Here you don't miss a street party or invitation. Something could happen that you have no say in. Think about which activities you really enjoy and which professional tasks will actually help you advance.

The irreplaceable one - nothing works without you!
You are firmly convinced that nobody else does it anyway and certainly not as well as you. although there is not a bit of space left for yourself in your time account. Your strong sense of duty comes in and you think: 'I can do that too.'

Have you already recognized which yes-man type you belong to? It can also very well be that you unite several types in you. Mixed types often occur. Now you have already taken the first step: You have recognized the motivation from which you once again said 'yes', even though you might have meant 'no'.

Tips: 7 Steps to Saying 'No'

1st step on the way to learn to say no:
Get yourself a cushion of time! If someone approaches you with a request, don't commit yourself right now. Do not let yourself be put under pressure, but give yourself a cushion of time to reflect on your decision and to better recognize your own wishes and goals. The time buffer also gives you the opportunity to prepare your counterpart for a 'no' if the worst comes to the worst. There is one more thing to consider. The person who turns to you with a request does not get an immediate acceptance. He'll definitely have Plan B in his pocket. This means that he will turn to another person with his task in order to perhaps reach his goal faster ... - and you are rid of the worry! Another positive side aspect, if you don't make your decision known right away, your 'yes' suddenly becomes a lot more valuable. The questioner appreciates your acceptance much more.

2.Learning to say no step on the way:
What does it cost you to say 'yes'? In business administration one speaks of opportunity costs. That means, what is the value of an hour in your life and what else could you do for yourself during this time? Act economically and always keep an eye on your personal gain. You can only use the resource time once and not use it for another purpose at the same time.

Realize the cost of saying 'yes' too often. This can give you the motivation to think about whether you might not be rejecting something after all. It is your time! You decide! Add up how much time you spend doing tasks for others. You will be surprised by the result. You cannot evaluate interpersonal relationships from a business point of view, but the balance should be balanced within a period of time.

3.Learning to say no step on the way:
Weigh the arguments! In the time buffer you have gained until your decision, you should fill your cartridge belt with 'no' arguments. The following options are available here:

  • The alternative proposal: "I can't bake a cake for you, but I'll be happy to get something from the baker." You stimulate another idea and show that you are not indifferent to the other.
  • Categorical no: Say you don't do this on principle. So the person who requested the rejection cannot refer to you because it has nothing to do with him personally, but with your principles. This way you show a clear line that makes you strong. The other will not question this.
  • Show empathy: "I can understand you well, that you need help here, but I have already planned. Another time with pleasure." So you seem very sensible and the rejection doesn't sound so harsh.
  • The better idea: Just suggest a much better solution. True to the motto: 'Actually, I'm not the right person for this job, but I could imagine that you will find someone better elsewhere who is better at the task.'

4.Learning to say no step on the way:
Give yourself permission! At this point, think about the beliefs, the idioms that you have heard over and over again in your environment for many years, for example, 'Make an effort!', 'What should people say about you?', 'Do it to everyone Law.'.
From now on, this should no longer apply to you! Therefore, give yourself permission to say 'no'. You deserve it! Set your traffic light to green and pave the way for yourself to change something in your behavior.

5th step on the way to learning to say no:
Learning to endure saying 'no': You may find yourself uncomfortable right after saying 'no'. The guilty conscience comes in, you think about the consequences and believe that you seem heartless and selfish to others.
These thoughts fly away. But your benefit, the gain in time, remains. Now you have space to take care of what is really important to you. So learn to stand saying no. It is worth it! You will come out of this situation stronger and the more you practice it, the easier it will be for you.

Step 6 learning to say no:
Enjoy your success! Pat yourself on the shoulder when you manage to say 'no' to pursue your own goals or to use the time you have gained to pause for yourself. Reward yourself with a nice thing or enjoy the time you have gained with people who do you good.

7th step on learning to say no:
Think about why you said 'yes' again.
Should you fall into the yes-saying trap again, then use it to reflect on your actions. Think about why you said 'yes', wait for the next situation strengthened and do it differently this time:
Say 'no' when you think 'no'!
This is how you come away from external control towards more self-determination and thus have more leeway to reflect on your actions and to pursue your wishes and goals. Because that's what brings you personally!

Memories for more self-confidence:
Never say 'yes' when you mean 'no'! Free yourself from wanting to please others. Banish the fear of negative consequences and be calm: Love and appreciation from other people has nothing to do with saying 'yes'. And above all, don't say 'yes' before someone has even approached you with a request!

Practical tip:
Definitely someone will approach you in the next few days with a request that you take on a certain task. Don't say 'yes' or 'no' under any circumstances, but rather: "I'll let you know this afternoon."
Now you have enough time to think about whether you want to take on this task. Consider the price you pay for doing something for someone else.