Find it hard to say no to your boss?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living -

WHEN your boss hands out as­sign­ments at the start of the week, are you the one who says “yes” to ev­ery­thing and ends up be­ing swamped?

“Whether some­one is able to say ‘no’ is rooted in their per­son­al­ity struc­ture,” notes Dr Peter Falkai, an ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber of the Ger­man As­so­ci­a­tion for Psy­chi­a­try, Psy­chother­apy and Psy­cho­so­mat­ics (DGPPN).

It mainly has to do with the per­son’s ca­pac­ity for em­pa­thy, he says: “Say­ing ‘no’ en­tails dis­ap­point­ing other peo­ple.”

In other words, the more some­one cares about other peo­ple’s feel­ings, the harder it is for them to re­spond neg­a­tively.

The in­abil­ity to say “no” isn’t a bad trait in it­self. On the con­trary, a well-func­tion­ing so­ci­ety is one in which peo­ple are some­times will­ing to shoul­der other peo­ple’s work.

How­ever, some peo­ple’s will­ing­ness to do this is ex­treme, which means they’re con­stantly taken ad­van­tage of. Are you one of th­ese peo­ple?

To help de­ter­mine whether or not you are, Falkai rec­om­mends imag­in­ing a three-legged stool. One leg stands for your job, an­other for your fam­ily and friends, and the third for your self.

“If your self is just a stub, the stool won’t stand,” Falkai says.

The ques­tion then is: “How do I grow my self?”

It takes prac­tice, Falkai says. If a good friend asks you to mow his lawn for him, you might say, “Maybe, but let me check my cal­en­dar first.” This gives you time to con­sider whether the ex­tra work is in fact too much for you.

If you train your­self in this way to oc­ca­sion­ally turn peo­ple down, you’ll come to re­alise that it’s re­ally not so hard af­ter all – and that the peo­ple you say “no” to usu­ally won’t hold it against you.

With suf­fi­cient prac­tice, even the most in­vet­er­ate “yes” peo­ple will even­tu­ally be able to say “no” when their boss wants to dump an­other as­sign­ment on them that they re­ally don’t have time for. – dpa

The more some­one cares about other peo­ple’s feel­ings, the harder it is for them to re­spond neg­a­tively, ex­perts say. — SILVIA MARKS/dpa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.