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Why people say yes when they don't mean it

You don't want to do it and you do it anyway. People who say yes when they mean no have a very specific fear.

People who keep saying yes when they mean no want at any cost in the world keep the peace and not attract negative attention.

You don't want to attract attention at all. Because if you get noticed - in whatever form - it can always conjure up conflicts of all kinds.

If you want to attract attention, then definitely positively - and positively for everyone involved. So, it is not possible that some people find the behavior good and others do not. That's why they just say “yes” as often as possible.

Notorious yes-men

"Can you quickly ...", "Would you please ..." or "I still need you today for ..." - whatever the question, it is for notorious yes-men all an invitation to say yes. They adapt to any situation that may arise spontaneously and thus always render excellent service to others. You could almost forget that these people still have a life of their own - it always works perfectly that they are available without complaint.

Your own needs however, are actually in the very last place. And with that, unfortunately, also those of your dearest people. Does someone have to stay there at work and work overtime again? You don't have to think twice about who to ask. Somebody needs to change their vacation schedule because of an urgent order? The name is program.

But why do they do that? Because theyFear of reaction the other have. And this is immediately followed by the fear of rejection, which - like so much else - already arises in childhood.

A behavior pattern in which you keep saying yes to others is unfortunately often the first step towards burnout.

Relationships are chronically stressed

Anyone who thinks they have to say yes always and everywhere has another problem in addition to organizational stress: He lives in constant tension. Because it is never foreseeable when, where and what they will be needed again and they have to say yes again. And because it keeps them in need of explanation to their loved ones.

So if you take a closer look at the relationships, they have something very special Unhealthy per se. Because if you don't allow yourself to be in a relationship, also about your own own needs to speak, but always to orientate oneself only to the other one, that puts these relationships in the wrong position.

Whoever feels addressed now: Set clear boundaries towards the people who make demands on you that they cannot or do not want to meet now.

A healthy relationship is not characterized by constant saying yes, but by the fact that dialogue is possible.

So if you are asked again whether you can stay longer today or do this or that service, you can say that it is not possible. It is the most natural thing in the world to turn down a request - for whatever reason. You can but don't have to explain why. Sometimes a conversation is easier if you back up statements with reasons, for example “Unfortunately it doesn't work today, I have to pick up my children from kindergarten” or “I have agreed to eat with my husband / wife at 6:00 p.m.” etc. Basically, the “why” is nobody's business - So you shouldn't let justifications degenerate into justificationsAs described in the article 10 things that we don't even have to under point 1. It is also essential that you only say such reasons once and not repeat them over and over again. The other has already heard it.


Prepare to face resistance

And to come back to the fear of other people's reactions mentioned above - and thus the fear of rejection - yes, the other person's reaction will probably not be very pleasant. Because it has always worked wonderfully until now - because you have always worked wonderfully up until now, for the others. If you are aware of this in advance, you can deal better with it if the other person may rebel and want to make you reproach or even feel guilty. You know this can happen and therefore you can develop resistance to it.

Over time, however, you will notice that - the more assertive and self-assured you are - other people will accept and respect your refusals. And that the quality of your relationships will improve because you meet other people on an equal footing.

Important: See every little “no” - however you phrase it - as yours personal successthat encourages you to say “yes” again the next time - namely yes to yourself and your own needs.


Anyone who always wants to please everyone ensures that everyone else is doing well, but miserably for himself. Start today by standing by and standing up for your own needs. If you are aware that a “no” can offend others and also surprise or even anger them, you know what to expect - and you can deal with it better.

Photo credit: iStock / g-stockstudio