LEARN TO SAY
Ever scanned your diary and wondered why you committed to so many things you didn’t really want to? “It’s common to over commit and make future plans we wouldn’t dream of making for today because the future seems unreal,” explains Robin. “Then it comes along and we have to do it.” But accommodating other people’s needs before our own means we’re at serious risk of becoming stressed, angry, dissatisfied and depressed—so learn how to give ‘yes’ the finger...
1Don’t Make It Personal
“Say yes to the person, but not to the task,” advises Robin. This means the person receiving the bad news won’t be hurt and it won’t make them resentful.” Use phrases that refer back to yourself, such as, ‘I’d prefer not to do X,’ or, ‘I’m uncomfortable doing Y.’
They’re harder to dispute.
2Buy Yourself Some Time
“Being caught unaware means we’re more likely to feel indebted and pressured into agreeing,” explains Robin. “Give yourself a breather—even if it’s just 10 minutes. Saying, ‘I’m just in the middle of something, can I get back to you?’ gives you a chance to think of a good response in the meanwhile.”
3Don’t Be Sorry
Studies show that women apologise far more often than men. “Don’t go down the apology route,” warns Robin. “Instead, use decisive phrases. Giving too many excuses about why you can’t accept weakens your position. Entering into another discussion gives the other person the chance to change your mind.”
The confusion was growing by the minute!