I’ve got to admit, I don’t always say “no” at work. But I used to be much worse. I would say “yes” pretty frequently – more often than just about anyone I knew.

I was so dead-set on being highly successful at a young age, that my default answer was “yes.” I was so bad, sometimes I’d agree to doing something before even knowing what the task was, or volunteer myself for assignments I wasn’t the most qualified for – all in an attempt to prove myself. That’s not exactly the best way to get ahead.

While I’ve since learned the hard way that saying no can be for the best, it’s not an easy thing to learn. Are you a people pleaser? Do you consider yourself the type of person who says yes to everything?

It’s incredibly normal to feel uncomfortable saying “no” to a boss, supervisor or client, but there are ways to turn someone down while still maintaining a healthy and respectful relationship. The secret lies largely in giving positive, constructive reasons for responding in the negative.