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I think that sometimes I accept that what other people say takes a priority over my own time or my personal choices. Also I'm not so "fighter" type. For example, suppose that if I go to rent an apartment, and it has some imperfections. I prefer to accept them than ask or direct the owner to fix them. I end up taking my own time to fix them. Thirdly, if a person asks me something and I am already doing something else, I will try to help them. Even if they overlap I will say "yes" to the other thing or perhaps completely drop my own project. So that also takes time.

So, my question is how you say "no" and fight back (see that I'm talking about my rights, not an actual fight with bare hands... and perhaps other suggested types of fight back "for get my place").

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Please refer to my answer :) – Parth Bhatt Jan 15 '12 at 8:20
+1 - I am SO glad you asked this. – Alpha Jan 18 '12 at 21:44

If you haven't already done so, I suggest checking out assertiveness training as a good place to start to learn how to say "no" effectively. There is a lot of information about assertiveness training on the web. Wikipedia has a good section on this topic at:

If you go to the self help section of your local book store, or search an internet provider such as for books on "assertiveness training" you should be able to find a selection of reading material that will help you learn and apply the various techniques an assertive person can use to say "no" in a way that they feel OK about (and the person they are saying no to feels OK about as well) - without fighting!  

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I wonder if you have the same problem as me: A "should" voice that incessantly tells you what it thinks you should do when really so many of those things aren't shoulds but coulds.

My latest strategy to prevent myself from immediately assuming that I have to do something presented to me is that I am changing the "should" in my head to "could."

"I should help them edit that article." No... "I could help them edit the article."

Suddenly, so many things in life are feeling more like opportunities and options rather than burdens and musts.

Maybe it'll help you too. :)

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It is your kindness and good nature that is harming you in a way. Actually you can say "No" if you think you won't be able to do it or you are busy doing something else. Just you need to politely say "No" and also you should explain the person why you are denying. Actually it creates a transparency between you and the other person as to why you are denying to help him.

Also you should learn to fight for your rights but in a proper manner. Sometimes we tend to be more harsh then we should, while we are trying to fight for our rights. But we should be polite and also should give the other party proper chance to rectify his/her mistakes.

So you need to be polite but transparent, Learn to politely say "No" and back it up with a proper reason and Also learn to fight for your rights but in a nice and peaceful manner.

Hope this helps you.

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I agree with the others here. You have to look at being assertive, and if needed, provide an explanation of why you cant do something. It is hard to do unless you solidify in your mind the importance of standing up for yourself and what is fair to yourself and others. Most reasonable people will understand if you have a good reason. It is a good thing that you are giving and accommodating of others. If everyone had a bit of this quality, the world would be a better place. You should not stop helping others, but keep things in balance and ask yourself what your priorities are.

As far as your first example goes, it is easier to just let things be and accept what comes your way. Some people avoid conflict like the plague, and that sounds like you (and me!). Conflict doesn`t have to be ugly or combative. If you were going to buy a car and you saw the guy in front of you negotiate $100 off, would you just accept paying the sticker price, or would you ask about the discount the last guy received? What if it were $3000? It comes down to how much you value what there is to gain and/or lose. If it's worth it, stand up for it. Ask yourself what you have to gain by standing up for yourself, and if the answer is significant... speak up.

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A classic reply (sourced from Randy Pausch) is to say "I'm happy to be your deep fall back if you can't find anyone, but it would be easier for me if you did find someone" I was a bit sceptical but it's worked very well for me.

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I would suggest that you try to find out what are the specific consequences of your "No saying" that you are afraid of. Do you have any concern that you might insult that person? Is that you suspect that person would not render you a favour in the future at a time when you might need one? Are you afraid of him becoming pushy if you say no? Or is it something else?

You could try to make a list of such possible fears and hence think about the roots of the issue.

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