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Yes, You Can Get Better at Saying 'No'

Many well-intentioned people too often over-commit

There is a common malfunction that occurs when well-intentioned people open their mouths to say no: The word "yes" tumbles out instead.

We've all been there, said Vanessa Bohns, department chair and professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. No is a deceptively short, simple word that can trigger several layers of anxiety for the person trying to say it. For starters: What does it reveal about our character?

"We worry that we're essentially communicating that we're not a helpful person; we're not a nice, kind person; we're not a team player," Bohns said. "We're too lazy to take something on, or we don't want to work hard."

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