For some folks, one of hardest things they can do in life is to say "no." It is even harder saying no to certain people. Who they are depends on who you are. Can you say no to your spouse, partner, best bud or parent? Perhaps your "No!" problem is limited to your office or workplace. Can't say no to your boss or coworker? You are not alone.
Some things that may help you get past yes:
Saying no is an art, you can give a direct answer which is assertive and to the point, or an indirect answer which is probably what most people do. Sometimes people can't do either of these, they just go with a dishonest response and hope it sounds good.
For example: you are invited to the ballet or a ball game you have no interest in going but don't know how to respond, so you end up going--deep sigh! You can say that you have plans, but that answer may backfire if asked about the plans, or heaven forbid, months later asked how you enjoyed it. You can buy time by giving an indirect response such as "I'll check my calendar."; "I am not sure what my partner has planned." or something similar. Or you can give the assertive reply and simply say "Thank you I appreciate the invitation but I really don't enjoy ballet or ball games. Maybe we could do something together another time."
Saying no does not have to be difficult but we often make it so for a number of reasons; don't want to hurt anyones feelings, afraid to say no to the boss, never able to say no to parent, can't deny your children, etc.
Learn how to say no with style and finesse. Be open and honest; don't make excuses, not liking something or not wanting to do it is a good enough reason to say no. Notwithstanding that very brave previous statement, be mindful that some things have to be weighed before saying no. Sometimes family, social and business events fall under "Must Do" or "Should Do." You do not want to cut family ties or hurt chances for advancement because you are hell-bent on asserting your right to say no. Respect yourself enough to say no when appropriate and respect the one doing the inviting enough to think they will understand and accept your reason.
Yes, saying no is an art. Moreover, it is a delicate art that we must teach our children because just saying no is not always easy.
Saying no often depends on the boundaries we have set for ourselves. Here are two books that Amazon.com is offering. If you are not interested in having one more self-help book in your home, hop over to your local library to look for Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. Although this book has references to the bible I did not find it overly preachy. Also check out When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. This is an older title, however certain subjects remain a constant--self esteem, boundaries, guilt.