You should say ‘No’ more often

To succeed this year, you need to focus on your priorities. That may mean you need to let go of your people-pleaser tendencies. But how do you know if you’re truly a people pleaser? Ask yourself these questions:

You say “Yes,” even when you don’t want to. It’s admirable to want to help people; however, some people can take advantage of your eagerness to help. Pitch in when you can, but don’t let people steal your time and focus away from your priorities.

People talk you into doing something. You decline, but don’t offer a definitive “No.” For example, you might say “I want to, but I don’t have time …” or “I don’t think I am the best person for that.” Manipulative people can work you until you break down and give them the “Yes” they want.

You find yourself stuck in situations. You might wind up in a conversation you want to leave, but won’t, or you commit to an after-work gathering you don’t want to attend. Being polite is always right; however, sometimes you need to walk away—or avoid—situations that drain your energy, time and happiness.

— Adapted from “Do You Need to Say ‘No’ More? Find Out in 4 Questions,” Carolyn Sun, Entrepreneur,