“Until you pause long enough to analyze a situation, you will continue to be a yes-person – annoyed with yourself and often annoyed with the person you couldn’t say no to.” – Susan Newman, Ph.D.

This is so true. If you want to spend your time well, and if you want good relationships with the people around you, you need to think before you speak! One of my favorite techniques is buying yourself time. Saying yes just because you can’t immediately think of a reason to say no is a recipe for misery.

Here are some great ways to buy yourself time:

Let me get back to you tomorrow / after lunch / next week.

I need some time to think about that. I can get back to you tomorrow evening.

Send me the details and I’ll see what I can do.

I’m not quite ready to give you an answer. I’ll think on it and get back to you.

I’m still deciding. Give me a day to get back to you.

Unless the need is truly urgent, anyone who doesn’t want you to take some time to think about it doesn’t have your best interests at heart. And if I’m not interested in what’s best for you, why should you worry about what’s best for me? Giving yourself that time is a way of respecting your own wants and needs. If you‘re finding that hard to do, you’ve probably got some unconscious programming telling you that others needs are somehow more important than your own. Change those beliefs, and you’ll change your life. Trust me … you’ll never look back!

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