I was one told never to say “yes” or “no” to a direct question. I did not at first understand why, but the quote caught my eyes.
What happens if you say “yes” or “no” on psychological level?
One of implications is that by not saying “yes” or “no” we can increases our creativity. This is however not interesting for us.
The other implication is that in a way by saying “yes” or “no” we agree that there are only theses options. There is no “maybe”, no gray area. Lets for a second assume that there is no “yes, but” or “no, but”.
So if we generally agree, we have a “yes”. Nothing special.
If generally disagree or have “no”, however, we can be always still be convinced to say “yes” provided that a new alternative outweighs our original rejection.
Some people will jump up in outrage saying that “no” is a “no”, and to say “yes” after the original “no” would feel like selling oneself, or emotional manipulation.
I agree to saying “no” in extreme situations is necessary, but if a situation is not extreme, consider the alternative. An alternative where you will never have to say “no” again.
There was a reason you said “no”, right? You said it because the proposed action did not go along with your values, ideas, other believes. The action you decided to do was more valuable or expensive than the rejected action.
You cost to do something else would be to differently allocate you time, money, emotions, or other personal investments, but provided a higher reward, you can still do it.
Say for example, that you have a good job. Someone can always convince you to change your job provided they pay you more, give you better conditions, or anything else.
If you made some plans, you can always change them, provided that the new plans are better.
Let me give you some live examples.
Once I went to a club with my friends, and a person in front of us was rejected the entry. Instead of saying “no, you are not allowed” bouncer said “100 euro”. Sounds good right? The person walked away, but there were occasions where people paid the price.
Another example was of people asking to change my plans. I had an appointment, which eventually would provide me a value of lets say 1000 euro. I said that “I would only be motivated to change my plans for 2000 euro”. Other person agreed to pay the price.
So you see, sometimes by saying “no” we are missing on opportunities, and even if a person is not willing to pay the price now, at least he knows the value of your time. If nothing else you can always have fun. Eventually you will have it worth you while never to say “no” again.