Are you saying yes when you want to say no?

In our last blog we spoke about the challenges that can happen at work when there is a mismatch between your values and the values in your workplace.

There are many ways that you can ‘sell out’ when it comes to your values and one of those is saying yes, when your heart says no.  

Mary was a Team Leader at her work. She enjoyed her job most of the time. It was challenging and she knew she was good at her role. She enjoyed knowing that others could count on her.

Lately she had the feeling that she was being ‘counted on’ a little more that she would like! She was staying back later and later at work. When that wasn’t possible, she would take work home and work late into the night. Much to her families disappointment, she would often spend time on the weekend, just trying to catch up.

It was common for people to approach her with a request when she was just about to leave for the day. Mary had always been accommodating and friendly before. Lately, even the simplest request seemed like too much. She was still saying yes, but inside she was screaming no!

Mary was worried that if she started saying no, then people would be upset, or she may even loose her job. She knew that it was affecting her health, her family and her enjoyment at work. She just didn’t know how to change the situation.

This is an uncomfortable and all too familiar situation for the women that I work with. If you are feeling like this, with your work, your family or even your friends, it may be time to consider what the feelings are trying to show you.

They are a sign that something needs to shift for you to be true to your values once more. Change can be scary, especially when you don’t know the steps to take. If you ignore the situation, it will probably get worse in the long run.

Over the next couple of newsletters we will break this down step by step.

The first step is to move from the automatic yes to the considered yes.

1. Firstly, acknowledge that saying yes in the past has been because you wanted to help. It is beautiful quality and one to be cherished. You still want to help and that is a good thing.

2. Next time someone has a request. PAUSE. Check in with your own heart. Is this request possible right now? Is this something you want to do? If the answer if YES. Continue as before.

3. If the answer is a NO. Notice that feeling. This will help you to know it next time. Give yourself some breathing space and respond with something like this

“I would love to help and I am not sure that I have time in my schedule at present. Can I consider this request and get back to you tomorrow?

That way you can spend a couple of quiet minutes alone contemplating a WIN/WIN for both of you.

Notice that I have said …. I would love to help AND rather than BUT. This is important. The word but negates everything that comes before it. Like a ‘word eraser’. The truth is you do want to help, as long as it works for you as well as them.

Make sure you do follow through and talk with them about options as you promised. This is a great way to show people that you still value them.

Next blog article: We will explore this further as we deal with possible fears that can arise when you begin to say no.

Closing thoughts…

Many of us have been taught that to survive in the workplace we need to deny our feelings and be more rational so we get things done! This denies the beautiful feminine qualities that are innate within us all – female and male.

For the next two weeks pay attention to your feelings. What are they attempting to show you?

See what happens when you notice your feelings and rather than pushing through the next task…pause and do something that makes you feel good? What changes?

If you would like some support please click on the link – Contact Shiona and request a complimentary 30 minute Bring Your Heart to Your Work Session. I would be my pleasure to to assist you.


Shiona Long



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One Response to Are you saying yes when you want to say no?

  1. Pingback: Why is it so hard to say the words? | Shiona Long

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