Suppose a friend asked you to drive her somewhere, tomorrow. Say, fifty miles away. No emergency, really. “Just an errand,” she says. Her car is on the blink.

You are a wimp when it comes to saying “No”. Everyone in your life knows that about you. So, she asks, with a smile, pretty sure that you will come through.

You hate her for asking. She knows about your busy life and limited time. “How can she do this to me?” you think.


Then you say “Yes” and agree to take her where she needs to go.  She gets her ride  …with you …an unhappy, internally seething driver, soon, maybe, to become her ex-friend.

Suppose a colleague calls to ask if you would join his effort to raise money for his favorite charity. “The commitment is to work only two evenings a month.” You are afraid to say “No”. You don’t want him to think you are unfeeling or uncharitable. Or… maybe  its just that your FOMO (fear of missing out) is over-whelming and making you lose sight of of your own priorities.




  1. Because you are a nice person and want to stay in good social standing and be accommodating,
  2. Because it feels good to be helpful.


                                                                                   MENTAL HEALTH ALERT


It is in your own best interest to get stock of your own priorities and respect them enough to turn down those requests you don’t want to or can’t do… gracefully.

Even if you are Superman or Wonder Woman, twenty-four hours in a day are all you are allotted.

When you say “Yes” to one thing, you’re saying “No” to something else. Make sure you are not cheating yourself.


If you have a hard time saying no, practice with one of these phrases:

  • I can’t give you an answer right now; could you check back with me next week?
  • I want to, but I’m unable to.
  • I’m not able to commit to that right now.
  • I really appreciate you asking me, but I can’t do it.
  • I understand you really need my help, but I’m just not able to say yes to that. I’m so sorry.
  • I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.
  • I’m honored that you would ask me, but my answer is no.
  • No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do . . .
  • I just don’t have that to give right now.


 Read up on the tricks used by con artists: It makes you realize how easily even you can get fooled into saying yes, when it is not in your best interest.

Remember that the DISEASE TO PLEASE is curable!

And when you say yes to things that really aren’t a priority just because you don’t want people to think you’re a jerk, some people will think you’re a jerk anyway.

                     THE BONUS FOR RECOVERY

When you know how to say “No,” it means so much more when you do say “YES”. You’ll feel great, for sure. And your true friends, who are worthy of your support, will trust that you will only say “Yes” when you mean it.

Oh, and by the way, that friend I was talking about who needed a ride?  She’s is not even out of line. It’s okay to ask just like it’s okay to say “NO”.

I’d bet she has an UBER app on her phone … just in case.


Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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