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December 31, 2006


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Laura Wesley

"In situations where you said "Yes" to doing something that you really didn't want to and later resented it, try saying, "No" up front instead."

Boy howdy, did that one hit home for me! I spent years and years in the printing and publishing business, both as art director and then sales. Everyone one thought I was an "artist" and could do anything and everything they couldn't do in regards to art. I got asked "favors" all the time. I could never say "no" and mean it. I was miserable. I hated doing those things, but did them anyway. They drained me.

My solution, while talking to myself in a mirror, was to say "let me think about it."

After a few days of "thinking about it", if I was remotely interested in doing it, I asked questions about the project. To not get their hopes up, I would repeat the "thinking about it" scenario. This left the door open to agreeing to do the project because there really was some interest in it on my part, and to saying "no" without hurting anyone's feelings about it. I also never had a guilt complex about telling a good friend "no" because, after all, I did think about it.

This has saved my life. I just wish I had learned it earlier.

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