In my “Four Tendencies” personality framework, every of the 4 Tendencies—Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, Insurgent—has its strengths and its weaknesses.

And the strengths are the weaknesses, and the weaknesses are the strengths—simply relying on the context.

(Need to study your Tendency? Take the short quiz here.)

Many individuals, particularly Obligers, have a tough time saying “no” to different folks. If somebody presents an Obliger with an expectation, by definition, an Obliger feels the burden of that request—as a result of the definition of an Obliger is “Meets outer expectations, resists inside expectations.”

Obligers typically make observations about themselves reminiscent of:

  • “I wrestle to set boundaries”
  • “I all the time go the additional mile, and folks make the most of that”
  • “I hold my guarantees to different folks, however I’ve hassle conserving my guarantees to myself”
  • “I’m not good at self-care”

This sample can result in burnout, emotions of resentment, and even “Obliger-rebellion.” Saying “no” to another person’s expectation is a crucial ability that can assist you obtain your goals and deal with what’s essential to you.

However it’s normally not so simple as “simply saying no,” particularly when another person’s request or demand weighs closely on you.

When you face this problem, you may…

Say “sure” with situations:

“Can I begin this undertaking subsequent week after I can provide it extra consideration?”

“I’m going to complete writing these emails first, then I’ll draft that caption for you if I’ve time.”

“When you’d like me to do that report, what else can come off my to-do checklist?”

“Are you able to end placing the groceries away for me whereas I make you that snack?”

“I can play with you for 20 minutes, after which I’ve to get again to work till lunchtime.”


“I’m not one of the best individual for this process proper now.”

“This individual additionally is aware of how to do that and should have extra bandwidth.”

“Why don’t you attempt it by yourself first and I’ll examine in with you whenever you’re executed?” 

Say “no” so you possibly can say “sure” to another person:

“I can’t keep late tonight, I’ve dinner plans with a good friend.”

“If I tackle this undertaking, I’m going to danger lacking an essential deadline.”

“I can’t come out tonight, I promised myself a night at dwelling to relaxation.”

“I’m taking per week off to spend time with my household.”

Contemplate your responsibility as a task mannequin, or to your future-self:

“If I get burnt out, I received’t be useful to anybody.”

“If I keep late, my teammates may really feel like they’ve to remain late too.”

“I would like my youngsters to see what wholesome boundaries appear like.”

“If I get evening’s sleep, I’ll be extra productive tomorrow.”

Upholders, Questioners, and Rebels are sometimes unhelpful when Obligers say they really feel overwhelmed by the burden of expectations. These Tendencies say issues like, “When you don’t wish to do it, nicely, don’t do it,” “When you get clear on what’s essential to you, then you definately’ll do it,” “Set a rule for your self and stick with it,” or “Simply it ignore what they are saying.” That recommendation doesn’t work nicely for Obligers.

For an method to resonate with somebody, it has to mirror the angle of their Tendency. Utilizing an Obliger-specific method makes it far simpler for Obligers to say “no” after they wish to.

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