The Power of Saying No

We live in a society where everyone says yes. Can you stay late again tonight? Yes. Can you shave two weeks off that project deadline? Yes. Can you stop and pick up milk even though it’s pouring rain and the store is in the opposite direction? Yes. Would you like more pasta with your pasta? Yes. Can you make lemons out of lemonade? Yes.


I know the drill. I get it. I used to want you to say yes too. But there’s a time and place for you to say yes and there are tough calls when you tell me yes but you really should just say no.

I don’t want you to try to figure out intricate ways to do it. I don’t have the budget for you to source it out to a freelancer or find another guy. I can’t spend the time project managing the vision and task-mastering the execution. That’s why I asked you to do it. Duh.

You see, I have high expectations. If you tell me yes, well, I start thinking about how great the thing is, how much it’s going to rock my world and how excited I’ll be when I have it. I know, there’s therapy for issues like this, but I can’t help it. My expectations are what they are. So, rather than selling me on the fact that you can do it either A) just do it or B) just tell me you can’t do it. I will still love you if you choose option B. Actually, I might love you even more.

What I want is for you to know your limits. Know what you can do and how that’s different from what you think you can do. People worry about letting other people down when they say no. I say show your cards and let me down early. Please, I beg you, if you know it’s no…just say no.

Tags: expectation, limits, saying no
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