No is a very powerful word, but rarely use by many. People are scared to say flat out “No” because it makes them feel uncomfortable. The mind is designed to steer you away from things that could make you feel uncomfortable and could possibly lead you to a negative situation that could cause you pain. So we replace our “No” with “I can’t, I have things to do. I can’t my Mom said no or my girl said no.” You didn’t say no your Mom said no.
When You Know What You Want In Life Then You Know What You Don’t Want In Life.
What Happens When You Say Yes In spite Of Wanting To Say No?
Two things happen when you say yes in spite of wanting to say no. The first thing that happens is you lose respect in yourself and on top of that you start to lose confidence in yourself. Confidence means “trust thyself.” For example when you don’t have confidence in someone, you are stating that you don’t trust them. Same goes for you when you say you don’t have confidence, you are simply stating that you don’t trust yourself. Your mind and body wanted to say no but you said yes because you were scared to say no. Now your mind isn’t sure if it would trust you because you keep going against what you want to do. Just like when someone says one thing but does another thing, it’s hard to trust them.
The second thing that happens is the person you are saying yes to, starts to lose respect for you because they know you will never say no. You are considered a pushover and a pushover is never respected. This type of person is easily controlled. Someone who can say no to something and walk away isn’t easily controlled. A person easily taken advantaged of is not respected. No one needs an explanation for you exercising your no, just say no and be done. They will gain respect for you.
If you want to increase the value of your YES, you need to learn to exercise your NO.
There is a law from the book, The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene that is related to saying no. That law is law 16: Use Absence To Increase Respect And Honor. This is my favorite law because it’s so easily understood and practiced. People who say no to things are practicing law 16. Being absent from events is the result of you saying no. Just like the person you see out every weekend, they are constantly saying yes, so the more you see that person, the more you lose respect for them regardless of what they do.
An example of law 16 is one of my family members who are located over 1,000 miles down south from where the rest of our family is located at. He’s in Florida and were in Pennsylvania. So when him and his family come up to see us once every year or other year, we immediately are glad and happy to see them. We respect the person we rarely see versus the person who we see every month or every week. This person is saying no because saying yes would alter their future. The person who says yes too much doesn’t necessarily care much about their future. I know this is me playing devil’s advocate to my previous posts about living more in the present but you it’s key for your future.
It’s better to be missed than to be annoyed of.
Temptation Is The Work Of The Devil Or Evil
We are tempted everyday by everything around us. Temptation comes to us in many different forms. It is only temptation because you are supposed to say no. If you were supposed to say yes then it wouldn’t be temptation. Many people are in jail, poor, or even died because of the work of temptation. Falling for temptation drains your discipline and willpower every time you get tricked into falling for temptation.
Example Of The Dangers Of Falling For One Temptation:
Let’s say you just gave up meat or dairy and you have been saying no to meat every day for the last month. Then you and your wife(or you and your husband) go over your friend’s house for a Sunday dinner to watch the Football game and your buddy is outside grilling some juicy filet mignon steak and your mouth is watering. I don’t know about you but steak is my weakness. Everyone is pounding this steak besides for you and your wife says: “Just have one steak, it’s not going to hurt, it’s just one time. You can get back on not eating meat tomorrow.” This is temptation at it’s finest, your wife is even trying to get you to say yes in spite of saying no.
What Happens When You Eat That Steak In Spite Of Not Wanting To.
This temptation then bleeds into the next temptation and the next one and the next one. You are more likely to fall for the next temptation. Now you are off your commitment made to yourself of not eating meat. So when that next temptation comes along, you are more likely to fall for it. It feels good cheating on the commitment you made to yourself short term. These temptations start out with weak tempts at getting you to crack then the offer gets bigger and bigger.
What Happens When The Temptation Gets Bigger And Bigger?
Then you are on a business trip and a much stronger temptation comes along and tempts you again. But this temptation is a make or break temptation. There is a beautiful girl at the airport who approaches you and flirts with you. This girl wants to meet you for a drink later. What happens to most men who are tempted by a stronger much harder request? Most men are going to fall for this trick and cheat on their wives. All because you cheated on yourself months ago at your friend’s Sunday dinner. If you didn’t eat that steak months ago, then your willpower and discipline will be strong enough to say no to the temptation.
You cheated on your wife all because you cheated on yourself in the beginning. If you cheat on yourself, it will be far more easier to cheat on someone else.
This phenomenon is called Foot In The Door Technique. This technique is the very thing temptation uses to get you to fall for their trick. Foot In The Door Technique is when agreeing to a small request like just eating one piece of steak will increase the chances of your agreeing to a larger request like cheating on your wife.
Learning to say no is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your future. Saying yes feels good in the moment but then you pay for it in the future. Saying no will help you increase your willpower and discipline. Also it will help you diminish your chances of falling for a temptation. Temptation gets stronger the more you exercise your yes rather than your no.
Personal Story About Me Facing Temptation:
I recently quit drinking alcohol a few months ago. I did a whole article on why I quit drinking. I wasn’t addicted to drinking by any means, drinking just effected my creativity and how I feel days after. So I quit drinking and I was serious about it. I told all friends who I went out with every weekend or every other weekend. They all respected my decision. Then it came down to my buddy Adam passing his CPA exam, a really hard exam to be a certified public accountant. I was happy for him and I know he liked to go out drinking, so I decided to go out with him to celebrate but I still wasn’t going to drink.
So we got to the bar and I was the only person of the group not holding any drink in my hand. I inspire to be transparent instead of “fake drinking” by holding a beer. We met these girls at the bar and they seen that I wasn’t drinking and they asked if they could buy me a drink and I refused. This was the first temptation at getting me to crack and cheat on my commitment. It was easy to say no because I really didn’t want to. I told these girls that I was just here to celebrate my buddy passing his CPA exam. I know it was a slippery slope going to a bar and trying not to drink. It’s like going into a fire and trying not to sweat. The thing was I never had a bad experience with alcohol, so it wasn’t like I was scared to drink, I just know I had a commitment to myself. And if I fall for this temptation, I wonder what else I’d fall for.
The night went on and these girls respect my stands on not drinking. The kicker is you only so much willpower in a day. The more the day goes on, the more that willpower gets drained the more you use it. So at 1am these two girls came at me with bribe once again but they had a stronger and bigger bribe for me if I drink. I reluctantly some how found it in me to refuse the last temptation to drink even with no willpower and being bribe from two women that saying yes to them seemed like a simple yes. I’m not some hero because I refused, I just know the down the road consequences that will follow. I would achieve immediate pleasure from giving into this temptation but I would suffer days to weeks later.
Why Did I Refuse Something So Meaningless?
If I would of said yes to those two girls and drank, I would of got rewarded in the short term but in the long term my entire life would suffer. Because this temptation would bleed into my work and my craft. So instead of writing this article, or working on my brand, I would be tempted to go play PS4 or watch TV or hangout with friends when I should be working. I probably would fall for the next temptation when the time mattered. Just because you say no to things, it doesn’t mean you aren’t living. You just know what you want in life and drinking at 1am is something I don’t want in life. Sure it’s fun and I had my fair share of having fun but I don’t want to spend my 30s suffering because of my lack of ability to say no in my 20s.
Willpower and discipline are key elements to success. Saying no to things that aren’t aligned with your purpose will increase your willpower and discipline.
Learn to say no and people will respect you more and you will not suffer later in life for saying yes too much.
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Excellent post, I especially loved the dynamic of saying no, increases the value of your yes. Robert Greene is excellent – I wondered if you had read Mastery also?
Sorry for the late reply, but thank you for the comment Joseph! Saying NO to things is so powerful, especially to things that you want to say yes to. And I haven’t read Mastery yet. I’m currently reading The Art Of Seduction. Whats Mastery about?
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It’s a look at some of the most revered historical masters – Darwin, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, etc. And how they cultivated skills to be the greatest in their respective fields. Very fascinating.
I’m familiar with seduction, but not what it entails, how are you finding it?
Sounds interesting! I’m going to have to check out the book after I finish The Art Of Seduction. It’s an interesting book because Robert Greene talks about how everything could be turned into a seduction
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Well it would be a crime not to complete the Robert Greene collection! I’ll have to buy also!