July 2, 2007 8:45 pm

yep… Nope…

Filed under: Communication,Mentorship,Personal Development — ramsblog @ 8:45 pm

It was several years when I first learned about words like “yep” and “nope” or perhaps I don’t remember ever using those in my school days. Anyways, our 2.5year old  has started using the words yep and nope. What is amazing is, I don’t know how and where the infants and toddlers learn to say “No”. How many grown-ups today use the word No? Specially at work, for better or worse, people over-commit just because they can’t say “No”.  A few questions linger in my mind:

  • Why do people as growing up, get into the obligations in relationships?
  • Why do some agree for everything and get into frustrations?
  • Why some are not willing to say No when they ought to say so?
  • What makes people to get into this habit? is it Culture? is it Respect to xxx? or a fear of what someone would perceive this individual as? or something else?

I have both experienced and seen people getting on more and more into their plates in spite of already having a lot. Whatever the case may be, I see a great power in saying “No” when required and at certain situations.

What do you think one must do to overcome this?



  1. As a victim of can’t-say-NO-nature, I think the inherent weakness in character, shy nature, inability or unwillingness to foresee the consequences of saying Yes, these are the factors responsible. I think there are enough books on this. The Disease-to-please, etc.

    I have often felt that deliberately and consciously developing the habit of saying No to every single thing every single day will cure one of this habit, though easier said than done.

    Your post inspires me to start saying No from this moment itself.

    So, I am saying NO to my habit of saying everytime yes.

    Comment by ha RAM — July 4, 2007 4:56 am @ 4:56 am | Reply

  2. yes me too suffer from “can’t-say-NO-nature”.

    Comment by bachodi — July 8, 2007 8:40 am @ 8:40 am | Reply

  3. I doubt there is a hidden link somewhere between saying “No” and saying “I don’t know”. I believe, people are hesitant to say NO because they dont want to look stupid and naive! I am a Software Tester, both by profession and passion. And I have seen many such people in my work culture too! But personally, I don’t think twice before saying “I don’t know” for something I really don’t know! Not knowing something and not interested in knowing something are 2 different things. So in my opinion, its far better to say “I don’t know” and then going to learn it (ofcourse if it is required for you) than to say “Yes” and suffer afterwards. And believe me, you can actually build credibility by admitting your ignorance of something than to falsly claiming to know something.

    Software Testing Zone

    Comment by Debasis Pradhan — July 10, 2007 2:42 am @ 2:42 am | Reply

  4. Absolutely. I have noticed and also experienced that people do respect if we admit “i don’t know” when we really don’t know and then offer proposals / suggestions as we think along; Instead of saying “Yes” and struggle through the process.

    Comment by ramsblog — July 11, 2007 11:30 am @ 11:30 am | Reply

  5. May be they are consious of being their nature judged and have fear that somebody cant name them as less approachable or non-approachable.

    On the contrary , sometimes in corporate world the appreciation flows in lines like, “his/her never say no attitude has brought in successful completion” etc.,
    Sometimes open ended statements like “let me check” or “may be it will not work” will help..
    The best thing is to direct them to somebody else whom u think is also capable of doing it 🙂

    Comment by Veena — August 7, 2007 9:17 am @ 9:17 am | Reply

  6. it should be read as “can name them” in the first line

    Comment by Veena — August 7, 2007 9:18 am @ 9:18 am | Reply

  7. Just today I realised that I am afflicted to this ‘can’t say no’ disease.I take up more work and later find it too burdensome..
    I must find a remedy soon–whatever the reasons for the disease.

    Comment by neela — August 18, 2007 6:50 am @ 6:50 am | Reply

  8. @Neela
    Welcome to ramsblog!

    I like the way you suggested. good delegation or direct to others. 🙂

    I recently got hold of a book titled “The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey” by my favorite author Ken Blanchard. Although not directly related to “can’t say No” syndrome but addresses on what most of us also do in terms of taking on more to ourselves instead of delegating. I liked the way this parable was narrated and how one can overcome. Personally, although i am still learning, I still take on others’ tasks to myself – without even knowing and then realize what I just did 🙂

    Comment by ramsblog — August 28, 2007 10:43 pm @ 10:43 pm | Reply

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