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In the chic Comedy “Yes Man” (2008), the hero of Jim Carrey in his unique comic style demonstrated the torment of a man who finds it difficult to overcome the voice of reason and agree to various follies. A sullen, depressive and, of course, unsuccessful workaholic is transformed by a simple trick and becomes much happier, more confident and solves any problems with a short and succinct word “YES”.

Now let’s face it. Does this technique work just as smoothly in real everyday life?


A person is faced with a paradox throughout his life. We are afraid to agree to something very important and necessary for ourselves, at the risk of appearing too frivolous. And at the same time, we cannot refuse some inconvenient request, because we are afraid to look greedy and callous.

And how much easier it would be if we reversed these situations. Everyday practice shows that it is much more difficult to say “no”, especially when your opinion does not coincide with the opinion of the majority. People who are too dependent on others cause a lot of inconvenience not only to themselves but also to their loved ones. And all this only because they could not firmly refuse in time. 


If you are a soft person and used to making concessions, it will not be easy to start defending your position with all the courage.

Psychology does not suggest shock therapy, like all in the same film, but doing little steps, gradually.

Pick up synonyms

The refusal does not have to be short and monosyllabic – “No”. It is enough, what the answer will imply. For example, you have set up a clear work plan and schedule tasks for the next few days. But a colleague approaches you and asks you to take a beginner in training, explaining that he can’t cope, and you have better organizational skills than he does. Of course, working with a trainee is a very time-consuming process. Before you say ‘Yes”, think about whether you want to pay attention to someone else’s task and do the work for your colleagues. Say, “At another time, I would have helped, but I can’t take that responsibility now”. By saying “no”, you are not disrespecting your colleagues, you are only showing respect for yourself and your existing responsibilities.  

Make yourself respected.

Perhaps this is the most difficult. Especially if the situation has reached a stage where your good nature has started to be used. Try saying ” NO ” at least once. The result will surprise you. Of course, the first refusal will be met with bewilderment, but this is a serious step towards restoring respect for your person.

Refer to something that has authority

It is quite possible to save yourself from many inconveniences. But you can also get rid of awkward conversations. Suffice it to say that you can’t enter into a discussion/do something because it contradicts your views/beliefs/your boss won’t approve of it.

Don’t be afraid to offend someone

It is possible that a tough rebuff, especially from someone from whom no one expected this, can hurt. But look, unhealthy altruism hasn’t done anyone any good yet. If someone is not able to accept your refusal loyally and accept your circumstances, why should you sacrifice your free time and energy to help such an unworthy person?

We do not insist that we should completely abandon reckless actions. Sometimes you need to break down and spend all your savings on a long-awaited trip, agree to marry a guy you’ve been friends with since childhood or shelter a kitten that your five-year-old daughter brought into the house. And note that all these circumstances will reward you with an immeasurable portion of happiness and positive emotions.

But if the inner voice whispers to you ” say no, don’t be stupid”, it is worth listening!

Saying “no” with confidence is probably the best service you can do for yourself.