Trent at The Simple Dollar blog has a post about how to say no, especially to charitable requests. One of his readers describes the problem:
I am a sucker for girl scouts selling cookies. I am a sucker for salesman at stores. I am a sucker for my church when they need money for something. I am a sucker for friends and family who need to borrow money. I am a sucker for the Green Party or Green Peace when they call and ask for money all the time. I have heard it called “The Disease to Please” before and I just wanted you to know how much it affects me not only with a lot of stress and anxiety, but also financially.
The solution, advises Trent, is to pre-plan your charitable giving—then if someone isn’t on your list, you can truthfully say it’s beyond your control. And then slam the door on them.
He points out that while it may be hard for you to say no to people and organizations you agree with, if you pre-plan as he advises, then you have a very compelling reason to turn down the next request that wasn’t on your list.
It takes practice, especially for tenderhearted people who aim to please, but by not saying no, you’re actually taking money out of the hands of the things you really care about. Saying yes to the salesman in the store means that you now have less money to spend on stuff you actually need – or on charities you actually care about. Saying yes to the person knocking on your door means you have less money to give to the people you actually care about who need it.
Every time you say “yes” outside of your plan, you let down something you care about even more. Once you really learn that, “no” becomes a much easier thing to say.
“The Sucker Factor: The Cost of Being Unable to Say No – And How to Get Out of It” [The Simple Dollar]
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