no20uI don’t know if you will agree with me, but a lot of us have extreme difficulty in saying no to a request, especially to a friend or relative. We have been totally brainwashed with the good Samaritan story and the nobleness of hospitality that we oftentimes tend to neglect our needs in the effort to “help others”. I sometimes question if the motive behind saying yes is truly genuine or simply a case of protecting our image as someone who is unselfish and caring. It could also be an expression of inferiority – the overwhelming concern of hurting others and losing their friendship.

I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong but here’s what I stumbled upon reading a magazine the other day :



Many of us say yes more often than we’d like. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself saying yes because you feel too guilty about saying no, here are some measures to help you protect yourself.

  • Stall. This gives you precious time to work up an honest rationale for a total refusal. Simply say : I don’t know.  I need time to think about it – give me an hour ( or a day, or whatever seems reasonable).
  • Use humor
  • Try flattery
  • Tell white lies, if necessary

Source : Barry Lubetkin, Ph. D. Institue of Behavioral  Theraphy, New York

Last week, a female colleague who manages projects and has no involvement in operation showed up at our weekly major changes meeting saying that she was sent by our boss to help us “refine” our controls and make it more productive. Her suggestions however called for stuff for herself to absorb, dipping her fingers in everyone’s pie, complicating the process.  I opposed her proposals in a firm but professional manner because it brought us another step backward rather than forward, which was unanimously supported by the group. In short, we killed her proposal because it was an absolute time waster. 

When she saw me at the office corridor  later on in the day she asked me in a light-hearted manner  “ are we still friends? “ I replied ” yes of course. I could give you a hug “. I did give her a hug 🙂 I felt guilty because I shot her proposal down. I sensed she was trying to expand her role for job security perhaps but on the other hand it was so glaringly extraneous and unproductive. It had to be stopped to preserve the integrity of the system.

Speaking for myself now, I honestly feel I am handicapped when it comes to saying no to people but I am learning. The bad part of not saying no is when you realize you short-changed yourself in a deal because you wimped out and forgot about your own interests.  It does reflect a lot on your self respect.



Restaurants are having one of their worst starts since 1997, and it is no surprise. People have cut back on their expenses, saving their hard earned bucks for the rainy day. Last week we received an interesting flyer which contained coupons for a buy one get one free deal at the Chinese buffet restaurant in our area, good for lunch on weekends until the end of March. This means that me and my wife can feast on scrumptious lunch buffet only for 12.95 every Sunday after church. It is an incredible deal – good for the wallet but bad for the tummy.  I’ve not been very successful in avoiding food these days, maybe because of the winter. You need fats to counter the effect of the cold weather it seems. I seem to recoup the calories I lost at the dinner table every night , duh 😦

In a recessionary environment,  it isn’t gloom and doom for all believe it or not.  If there are opportunities as there are downturns . McDonalds made a whopping 80% increase in profit for 2008.   It seems that people have been economizing on their eat outs and have flocked to  McDonalds instead.  If there is such as thing as recession proof business ,  McDonalds is one methinks.



Thanks for your 2 minutes 😆


36 Responses

  1. It took me years to finally became at ease when saying ‘no’ at work. I used to feel guilty then. Eventually I realized that walang personalan naman. But outside work, gawd, I still find it hard to say no. Just like when I went home, I’m so dumb not to say no to tons of stuff (pabitbit) that a friend asked me to bring to her family. It almost consumed one of my bags. I learned my lesson now. Well, that’s just one of the examples. I really need to find balance between reasonableness and kindness.

    • Witsandnuts – regarding the padala, the reverse happened to us – we were overbaggaged coming back, because relatives of our friends almost wanted to send their kitchens with us to Canada 🙂 Lucky there was a baggage handler at the airlines who helped us move some stuff to another box, taped it and all and we had to pay him 150 pesos for his effort. It really got my horns up, smoke coming out of my ears 😡 Rewind…. the night before we left for Pinas in this vacation, a friend of my wife came to our house and her padala was frigging 10lbs, which we have to squeeze in to our bags..arggh..what a bummer 👿 I tell you, I am manhid with this padala business already and frankly, if not for my wife’s intervention, I don’t care anymore if I lose friends, duh.

  2. I have a problem saying no to my friends but not my family 🙂

    I also get coupons from stores and application offers from credit card companies. It is very tempting.

    The video is totally nuts lol 🙂

    • Irrealis – you must be the youngest in your family 😆 I know, these credit card companies are applications… huh ? Aren’t we in recession ? 😯

      See how people can be creative ? They can tamper videos for all you know and make it realistic !

  3. That’s a weird video. I guess its supposed to be a parody. You never can tell these days. For all I know, Clapton was trying to play free jazz a la Ornette Coleman. 😉

    • Wil – it is a parody for sure . It sounded like Clapton was jammin’ and tuning up their equipment with his boys in the basement of this house instead of a concert 🙂

  4. it’s true but i already learned how to say no. this guide definitely is helpful.

    saying no is better than saying yes when what’s in your mind is a no.

  5. That seems to an apt term, a ‘handicap’ for not being able to say no so easily. In fact, I’ve gotten myself in some serious predicament in the past just because of this perchance. But as you said, it’s not such a good thing and I have learned so well these days.

    • Major Tom – it’s just a bummer sometimes when you help and you get dragged into the problem, even with little things, lalo na sa Pinoy where pakikisama is expected in our culture.

  6. 80% ? That’s amazing. wonder if Burger King and Wendy’s made money too 🙂

    That video is hilarous hehe. I thought it was for real. These guys did a real neat job I can tell 🙂

    • Natez1 – since people have become more frugal during these recession times, I’m assuming they’re profitable too 😯

      sooner or later the record companies who have rights to these music videos will raise a stink with people doctoring them for fun.

  7. Great … you are a “yes man” becoming a “no man”.
    Maybe you could become a new guru and write the next bestseller… “1001 ways to say no”.
    There is money to be earned in this business !

    • Sidney – LOL.. great idea. there’s definitely a lot of money to be made with the “1001 ways to say no” book 🙂 One one hand, I’d be quite reluctant on training my wife to learn how to say no hehe 😉

  8. I can always say no i can’t. Only when it comes to financial favors, i really can’t refuse kung meron din lang naman… especially sa family ko.

    I watched the video twice… where’s the twist? It shows eric clapton masterly playing his guitar. It wasn’t real? Why? I dont understand.

    • Curacha – very generous person ka pala 🙂

      LOL.. Clapton was playing trash on the video – didn’t you notice? His guitar playing had no harmony nor pattern as well as the other players sounded like they were tuning their instruments !

  9. yeah, for some reasons, ang hirap mag sabi ng ‘no.’

    sabi nga, ‘Learn to say ‘no’ and it will be better than to be able to read Latin.’

    • Flamedevil – Learn to say ‘no’ and it will be better than to be able to read Latin.’

      That’s a nice one bro. I guess it says that it is much smarter to learn how to say no than an educated hot shot who gets railroaded by anyone 😎

  10. BW, pick up your award over at my photo blog. 🙂

  11. In my line of work, it is sometimes difficult to say no to a client, particularly when it comes to deadlines. You have to be able to please them otherwise, another supplier will pick up after you, which is a real no-no especially in this cut-throat business environment… hay. 😦

    • Snglguy – in the world of business, that’s pretty much the name of the game – keeping customers happy. Most customers are pretty reasonable, but there’s always those who are pain in the you know who , ugh 😦

  12. saying ‘no’ used to be a huge problem for me especially when family members ask for help. the more i help them, the more dependent they become. small stuff which shouldn’t be my problem becomes my problem because i always give in, which is not good. it took me a while to say ‘no’ to them. i felt guilty alright but i have to do it. i also have my own worries to take care of.

  13. Pragmatist like me have no difficulty affirming a no answer.

    Try the vegetables/fruits drink I articulated in your other post, it’s not delicious but really nutritious. In a few months, I’ll have my bloodwork done and it will definitely confirm what effects are positive, hehe…..
    McDo is unhealthy but majority are feeling the pinch so the alternative is McDo. Once every two or three months, I take a swipe at their Fish Sandwich meal.

    • TruBlue – glad to know that you have almost mastered the art of saying no. You ought to teach me hehe 😉

      Good luck on your veggie/fruit cocoction. Hope it shows up positive on your bloodwork. I heard it is a great way of reducing cholesterol 🙂 Believe it or not McDo’s whopping profit also had to do with their news of eliminating trans fats in their menu ! I agree. The fish sandwich is my fave too.

  14. Pinoys, in general, have a hard time saying “no” to others…and receiving a “no” reply. Hay.

    Only 12.95 Canadian dollars for a lunch buffet for two? That’s cheap.

    Every time I’m too tired or sick to cook a homemade meal, we go to McDonals. But we have to spend around USD26 for two combo meals. Everything here is expensive.

    That YouTube video made me tired (LOL). Not my thing, I guess.

    • Jayred – that’s ingrained in our culture, the pakikisama habit natin. Ok lang , hwag lang sanang i-abuse ng iba.

      Yes, that’s weekend lunch. Weekday buffets are even cheaper at 9.99 🙂 Wow, 26 bucks combo for two , that’s pretty stiff. Here I got McDo flyers in the mail too 🙂 and the special combo for two is $8.95. THe rgular price for a combo is around 5.20 I think. Again, CH has a very high standard of living plus people there have high wages .

      the video was supposed to make you dizzy with Clapton and his band playing trash 🙂 Look at how easy it is to dub videos these days !

  15. i am a victim of my own weakness of not saying ‘no’. i think it’s about time i need to learn to say no…

    i am not a fan of mcdo. but i am a fan of eric clapton. 😉

    happy heart’s day to you!

    • Bing – it also has to do with our Pinoy nature of having pusong mamon, I think. Masyado tayong maramdamin pag natanggihan kaya to preserve the friendship, sige na lang 😯

      I really only eat McDo if I’m in a rush to have something or just loafing around for snacks. Nakakasawa kasi 🙂

      Hey that Clapton video was a joke hehe..

      Happy Hearts to you too 🙂

  16. My father is the type of person who tries to please everyone and thus, he fits the title of “One Who Can’t Say No” to a T. It has caused quite a number of bitter arguments at home between him and us his family.

    Over the years, I’ve learned to say No (within the boundaries of Reason) to people rather than overcommit myself. I have refrained from unduly stressing myself out for the sake of pleasing other people. It’s not really worth it.

    • Panaderos – “unduly stressing myself ” – absolutely correct. Not suggesting to be indifferent or stolid here but we have to think about ourselves too 😯

  17. I believe there to be an implicit request to participate in this discussion. I choose not to today. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  18. Keith – thanks for dropping by too.

  19. I also have a hard time saying no, especially when it involves my relatives, and money.

    At work, when I’m given a task that wouldn’t fit into my time frame or would probably drive me mad in the course of completing it, I usually accept, consoling myself with the notion that I am given a lot because I can. Like you, I’m still learning how to refuse, and just recently I brought up the topic of my overloaded schedule to my boss and of course there was nothing they could do about it. But still, it was a start.

    • Kat – it is truly a challenge and an ever learning experience. Lately I told myself that I can’t solve world hunger nor I am responsible for people’s problems and that made it easy on my conscience 😯

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