September 27, 2023

In my “Four Tendencies” personality framework, every of the 4 Tendencies—Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, Insurgent—has its strengths and its weaknesses.

And the strengths are the weaknesses, and the weaknesses are the strengths—simply relying on the context.

(Wish to study your Tendency? Take the short quiz here.)

Many individuals, particularly Obligers, have a tough time saying “no” to different folks. If somebody presents an Obliger with an expectation, by definition, an Obliger feels the burden of that request—as a result of the definition of an Obliger is “Meets outer expectations, resists internal expectations.”

Obligers usually make observations about themselves resembling:

  • “I wrestle to set boundaries”
  • “I all the time go the additional mile, and folks reap the benefits of that”
  • “I hold my guarantees to different folks, however I’ve bother protecting my guarantees to myself”
  • “I’m not good at self-care”

This sample can result in burnout, emotions of resentment, and even “Obliger-rebellion.” Saying “no” to another person’s expectation is a vital ability that will help you obtain your goals and give attention to what’s vital to you.

But it surely’s normally not so simple as “simply saying no,” particularly when another person’s request or demand weighs closely on you.

Should you face this problem, you would possibly…

Say “sure” with situations:

“Can I begin this mission subsequent week once I may give it extra consideration?”

“I’m going to complete writing these emails first, then I’ll draft that caption for you if I’ve time.”

“Should you’d like me to do that report, what else can come off my to-do checklist?”

“Are you able to end placing the groceries away for me whereas I make you that snack?”

“I can play with you for 20 minutes, after which I’ve to get again to work till lunchtime.”


“I’m not the most effective individual for this activity proper now.”

“This individual additionally is aware of how to do that and will have extra bandwidth.”

“Why don’t you attempt it by yourself first and I’ll test in with you if you’re finished?” 

Say “no” so you possibly can say “sure” to another person:

“I can’t keep late tonight, I’ve dinner plans with a buddy.”

“If I tackle this mission, I’m going to danger lacking an vital deadline.”

“I can’t come out tonight, I promised myself a night at dwelling to relaxation.”

“I’m taking per week off to spend time with my household.”

Contemplate your obligation as a job mannequin, or to your future-self:

“If I get burnt out, I received’t be useful to anybody.”

“If I keep late, my teammates would possibly really feel like they’ve to remain late too.”

“I need my youngsters to see what wholesome boundaries seem like.”

“If I get a very good evening’s sleep, I’ll be extra productive tomorrow.”

Upholders, Questioners, and Rebels are sometimes unhelpful when Obligers say they really feel overwhelmed by the burden of expectations. These Tendencies say issues like, “Should you don’t need to do it, effectively, don’t do it,” “Should you get clear on what’s vital to you, then you definately’ll do it,” “Set a rule for your self and follow it,” or “Simply it ignore what they are saying.” That recommendation doesn’t work effectively for Obligers.

For an method to resonate with somebody, it has to mirror the angle of their Tendency. Utilizing an Obliger-specific method makes it far simpler for Obligers to say “no” once they need to.

The submit How To Say “No” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.