Hi, my name is Monique and I’m addicted to saying ‘yes’.

For the life of me, I really can’t understand why. I’m up to my eyeballs in a huge mound of work, doing a thousand and one things, and then people seem to have some sort of compelling power over me, making me agree to one thousand and two, ten, one hundred and twenty two things!!

It’s a slippery slope, I tell ya, and the scenario goes a little something like this:

Person number 1: “Hey Mon, how are you? Can you do me a massive favour and help me with this project I’m working on, because I know you know such and such and you’d be great! Pleeeease?”

Me: “Yeah sure, no problem anything for you, my friend.”

Person number 2: “Monique- can you spend X amount of time working on X,Y, and Z?! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I need it- like, now.”

Me: “Hmm, I’m not sure about now,” I say with sweat starting to ooze out of my pores on my face. “I can, er, start it in the next couple of weeks,” I conclude nervously.

Person number 2: “Oh… ok,” said with disappointment laced in their voice.

Me: “… Next week…?”

Person number 2: “Well…,” then they start to beg me by using sad puppy dog eyes. The look is more than I can bear.

Me: “Next couple of days?… Hours? … Minutes? Alright, alright, I’ll do it now.”

Person number 2: “Thanks Monique, you’re a life saver! I knew I could count on you!”

Me: “Don’t mention it,” I say with a strained smile and a little twitch in my right eye.

Persons 3, 4 and 5: “Mo-nique, Mo-nique! We’ve got this really cool idea but we really need your help to-“

Person 6: “Man-ique Nicole! Could you go out and-“

Person number 1: “Mon! Bad news, on second thoughts, I need you to-“

Person number 10: “Monique?! Monique?! Mon-“

Me: “Argh!!! E-NOUGH!!!!” (That was me buckling under the pressure, though I haven’t actually done that yet).

If I do snap one day, I’m imagining it will go something like this (I will know if you’ve pressed play or not, so just press play please. Thanks):

On second thoughts, that wouldn’t really happen (unless I really, really knew you- it’s funny how that works). I reckon I’d show more decorum; after all, I’m British. So, if it did ever happen, my apology would go something like this:

“I am terribly sorry for my little outburst. I do not know what came over me. Please forgive me. Thank you for listening. Would you like some tea?”

I am trying to teach myself to say ‘no’ now. I have been practising in the mirror by matching certain facial expressions with the tone of my voice. You know, rehearsing certain variations from saying it in a funny way to ease the tension to just cutting straight to the point with an assertive one-word answer, as you do. And I think it works rather well… in front of the mirror. I did actually say ‘no’ to something a few weeks ago and I gave myself a pat on the back- literally, but I’ve relapsed since.

Does anyone else have the same problem? If not, then what’s your tactic?