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I need to learn to say no...!
Old 05-30-2009, 11:41 AM   #1
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I need to learn to say no...!

I admit that I am pushover. The only way I know I can elude situations in which I should say no is steerring away from them...and pray to God they donīt follow me! Iīve got this irrational need to be liked by everyone, even by those i donīt like or want to have any contact with. But Iīve had to put up with a lot of unfairness coming from my bosses or subordinates when i culd have stuck to my guns and say no with no risk or real damage in my job-I just gave in so I would seem nice to those who were nasty/deadbeats/ambitious or cheeky.
How can I learn to be assertive and say no withour sounding hysterical or pitiful?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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Stare em down for 30 seconds of silence and then ask softly, "Do you honestly expect me to agree to that?". Follow with another 30 seconds of silence and if your decision is not to oblige just gently shake your head and walk away. That makes them evaluate what they have asked for which should have been done before asking. Quite frequently the request is withdrawn of their own volition.
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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Smile and say, "No....but I appreciate your confidence in me."...followed by a pat on the back...
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:19 PM   #4
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If you google "how to stop being a people pleaser" you'll get tons of information about it.

Knowing when to say no at your job will make you a better employee. Think of that next time you disagree with someone. Also realize that you'll never be liked by everyone. Take comfort in your friends and family that love you and don't worry about the people you hardly know.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the tips and info. But, havenīt you noticed that many people just suffer the bully, avoid him or do about anything but face up to him? I personally have never seen anybody putting them in their place. Maybe itīs a cultural trait in Spain where people seldom complain. ĮAnd in a perverse way some people are more popular and looked up to than those who they bully....
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:41 PM   #6
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IMO, a bully thrives on intimidation and fear. Once they have "lost" to someone that says no, they lose.

You seem to be sensitive. Your heart will always win.
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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IMO, a bully thrives on intimidation and fear. Once they have "lost" to someone that says no, they lose.

You seem to be sensitive. Your heart will always win.
Iīm afraid I am a coward. Iīm not particularly sensitive. And anyway sensitiveness doesnīt preclude bravery.
And in the instance you mention, the bully only really loses when enough people know that he has "lost" to someone-and let him know that they know and theyīll do the same, too.
Despite my disagreeing with you I very much appreciate your comment.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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I've experienced pretty much everything you describe after working 35 years in machine shops. Being sensitive could sometimes be seen as a weakness.
Decide at what point you're going to stop putting up with whatever the problem is....let them know what that point is, and walk out if you have to.
To a boss constantly stroking his ego? I reach my point when I tell him to do whatever he thinks he needs to do.....I'll pack my tools whenever you want. Just let me know when. I was never asked to pack up.

Bullying co-workers is a little different. Let the boss know what's going on. Some have the guts to step in and manage the situation and some don't. If they don't?....time to say bye bye. I worked in a shop where several of the workers kept pistols in their tool boxes.
Tough way to earn a living.....but I'm doing much better now.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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...that many people just suffer the bully, avoid him or do about anything but face up to him? I personally have never seen anybody putting them in their place. ...more popular and looked up to than those who they bully....
Bullies, schmullies...I have found the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore the button-pushing. Deny them the reaction they crave.
In the absence of physical contact, a bully thrives on attention, i.e. to be noticed pushing someone around so as to intimidiate the current victim and the rest of the audience.
First, make eye contact. Say nothing, no matter what the bully does. Then walk away slowly, in reverse if you think the bully may use physical force.
If the bully actually hits you (pushing or worse), and is unarmed, then pick up something solid and wave it around in the air wildly. Act a little crazy. Say nothing. Do not hit the bully.
If the bully is armed, call the police. Not company security, the real police.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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I've read this thread again, and since you told us you were not working, in another post, I made the assumption you were talking more on the lines of saying no to people that asked favors. As far as the co-worker/boss scenario goes...I'm with Poundkey.

In regards to friends and acquaintances, I stick with my first reply. I use the "sandwich" approach.

When I think of the term "bully", I think of someone that is vicious/mean spirited. I have zero tolerance for these people when they try to bully me. When they try to bully someone I care about, they have made a major mistake.....let's just say I don't take to it kindly.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:52 AM   #11
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Iīve got this irrational need to be liked by everyone, even by those i donīt like or want to have any contact with.
I had that affliction where i would go out of my way to please everyone with the assumption that they would like me,well guess what,they didnt like me anyway.
So just say what you feel and dont worry if it comes off a bit straight forward as you may garner more respect by being honest about your views.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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I've read this thread again, and since you told us you were not working, in another post, I made the assumption you were talking more on the lines of saying no to people that asked favors. As far as the co-worker/boss scenario goes...I'm with Poundkey.

In regards to friends and acquaintances, I stick with my first reply. I use the "sandwich" approach.

When I think of the term "bully", I think of someone that is vicious/mean spirited. I have zero tolerance for these people when they try to bully me. When they try to bully someone I care about, they have made a major mistake.....let's just say I don't take to it kindly.
Well youīll have to pardon my being less than honest-I was really talking about my wife and her troubles at work.
She is a local civil servant who maybe made the mistake of resigning her position as supervisor īcause she couldnīt stand the stress of dealing with lazy and treacherous subordinates fostered by their cuasi impunity (security of their jobs and trade unions) meaning that in the end she almost had to do their work and answer for them to her boss, a politician, no less.
Now, those subordinates, whom she had protected when supervisor against her boss and the public, donīt respect her at all. And 2 of them supervise her!
Now she has to do the work of these 2 deadbeats appointed supervisors by the politician who didnīt know about their laziness and incompetence and couldnīt care less.
Of course if my wife were assertive she wouldnīt have to put up with all this.
And to make matters worse, in one ocassion she tried to exert her authority -in that mild way of hers- and it resulted in her being sued for mobbing! Naturally the claimant suit was promptly dismissed. And, can you believe this: The politicians and the unions begged my wife not to counter with a suit for slander...!
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:36 AM   #13
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Well youīll have to pardon my being less than honest-I was really talking about my wife and her troubles at work.
She is a local civil servant who maybe made the mistake of resigning her position as supervisor īcause she couldnīt stand the stress of dealing with lazy and treacherous subordinates fostered by their cuasi impunity (security of their jobs and trade unions) meaning that in the end she almost had to do their work and answer for them to her boss, a politician, no less.
Now, those subordinates, whom she had protected when supervisor against her boss and the public, donīt respect her at all. And 2 of them supervise her!
Now she has to do the work of these 2 deadbeats appointed supervisors by the politician who didnīt know about their laziness and incompetence and couldnīt care less.
Of course if my wife were assertive she wouldnīt have to put up with all this.
And to make matters worse, in one ocassion she tried to exert her authority -in that mild way of hers- and it resulted in her being sued for mobbing! Naturally the claimant suit was promptly dismissed. And, can you believe this: The politicians and the unions begged my wife not to counter with a suit for slander...!
Can she transfer to another dept? Sounds like a tough situation to overcome at this point.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:41 AM   #14
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Can she transfer to another dept? Sounds like a tough situation to overcome at this point.
No transfer possible for the moment. Her "bosses" need her (as long as she behaves in such an absurdidly obedient and diligent way).
I am on the watch out lest she breaks down. Currently she swings from melancholy to anger to listlessness. Sheīll end up taking sick leave, which isnīt the solution. And her workload will waiting for her, as is typical of civil service.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #15
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If it were me, it would depend on how much I needed/wanted the job. If I did not want to leave, I would keep my eye on my goal and let the attitude of others roll off my back. There are some people and situations that simply will not change, but my attitude can change.

If it became too much for me mentally and physically, I would leave.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:02 AM   #16
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wife...a local civil servant who maybe made the mistake of resigning her position as supervisor ...
had to do their work and answer for them to her boss, a politician, no less.
...subordinates... donīt respect her at all. And 2 of them supervise her!
...The politicians and the unions begged my wife not to counter with a suit for slander...!
Allow me to amend my previous post...I realized you were not w*rking and thought you were being bullied by a neighborhood punk. Oops!

I can see your wife is in a bit of an almost no-win situation. She is in a "tables turned" role - she was once the boss and now is being bossed by her previous subordinates. Whew! And it is all politically twisted around.
However, the bolded text above is her "trump card" in case things get really bad. This is best reserved for exactly the right time.

If she is experiencing these tremendous moods differentials, it may be time for her to find other employment for the sake of her health and sanity.
No paycheck is worth all that.

I still stand by this advice...I have found the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore the button-pushing.
Deny them the reaction they crave. It is draining to maintain the straight poker face, but it is doable.
BTDT many times in my life. In each case, my "bully" was a female. I am female.
I simply let the rope (upon which they eventually "hung" themselves) feed itself out.
In other words, the harder they pulled, the looser I kept the line, or simply dropped it.
Still chuckling here...
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:59 AM   #17
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I have seen this sort of situation at my work - - where a supervisor ended up working for one of her former employees, who then made her feel miserable and humiliated her whenever possible.

In this case, the (former) supervisor worked very hard under adverse conditions for about five years to get transferred so that she would be working under someone else. She was finally successful. But it wasn't a good decision. Due to promotions, the supervisory structure changed and now she is working for the devil himself.

Had she stayed where she was, she would be working for my new (wonderful, empathetic, loyal, helpful) present supervisor.

My advice to your wife would be to just tough it out. It is part of the working world and this is why they call it "work", not "play". I don't think most people mind the actual tasks that they do at work - - it's all the baloney that comes along with it that motivates someone like me to seek ER.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:33 AM   #18
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Thnk you all for your tips/advice/thoughts. I had come to some of the same conclusions. But I canīt help thinking that thereīs not much she can do because the situations havenīt reached such seriousness that rebellion and fighting back will be the unavoidable results; even for a self-effacing person like her. So Iīm afraid that -as one of you said- sheīll have to tough it out. And who knows, in less than 2 years thereīll be elections in the local council and that will involve some sort of reshuffle....As somenone said any change is a vacation.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #19
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Just read the story about your wife. Good grief!

A sister-in-law of mine was selected for a supervisor post. She declined, deciding that the extra pay wasn't worth the job pressure. One of her peers took the job and hassled her so much that she had to quit. She retired early with no pension nor benefits before she was even 40. She has been happy as a stayed-at-home mom.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:37 AM   #20
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Just read the story about your wife. Good grief!

A sister-in-law of mine was selected for a supervisor post. She declined, deciding that the extra pay wasn't worth the job pressure. One of her peers took the job and hassled her so much that she had to quit. She retired early with no pension nor benefits before she was even 40. She has been happy as a stayed-at-home mom.
Hi there! My wife isnīt suffering enough that se has contemplated to quit. She argues that -for the moment- she would feel worse giving in to those incompetents and arrivists, and giving up on a job that otherwise she likes and is good at. And quitting wouldnīt even damage her "colleagues" or her new "bosses"-her department is overstaffed.
Having gone through similar situations myself, with lazy troublesome subordinates and incompetent bosses that were unable to really organize, direct and motivate -and whose only answer in the face of problems was "do whatever is neccesary that results in the convenient" is to tough it out and limit herself to what are strictly her obligations. After all she is the only one that has absolute stablility in her job. The rest of them are all temporary or transient.
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