I want to give a respectful welcome to Irina and thank her for choosing this blog as a stop on her BlogTour. On to our interview…
Irina, I think a good first question is where are you from and what are some of the highlights of what brought you to write your book, Rediscovering The Power of No?
I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and, being an admittedly brave teenager (or just a teenager :-) immigrated to Israel on my own, arriving there on the second day of the first Gulf War. I got my gas mask and an Israeli passport at the airport. That was my welcome to the country.
I worked my way through getting a BSc in Computer science from Technion, the Israeli analog of MIT. I came to the US in 1999 and soon started working on Wall Street – first at Merrill Lynch and then at Citigroup. I graduated from Columbia Business School in 2007. I worked at Credit Suisse Private banking before starting my own Personal Confidantency, which I then expanded into “Let’s do a reality check!” and “MBA Confidante”.
I think my experience in all of that is what brought me to write the book.
Would you share a few personal interests and abilities with us?
I like Yoga, Pilates and I hope to learn to play golf some day.
I appreciate good food, nice wine and well written books.
And, I’m fluent in Russian, Hebrew, and English and speak some French.
Thanks for that personal touch :-)
So, your book says that saying “Yes” can be harmful. Would you explain that?
“Yesomania” is a term I use to describe the chronic and widespread desire to please other people and always say “Yes”, often times compromising one’s own health, money or relationships.
My book helps you take the first step towards having more control over your life. Beginning to take a closer look at how saying yes to everything affects you and what the price you pay for it is. This will help you see where you need to change then take the steps towards making your life easier and less anxiety prone.
O.K., let’s get just a bit of your advice from the book right here. How about in career matters?
It’s hard to say ‘No’ to your boss. However few people realize that if you are the one who always says “Yes” you will be given all those tasks that others said “No” to – and for a good reason. Your raises and promotions will likely get postponed, since there is no reason to make sure that you are happy with your job. You will say “yes” anyway.
What about personal relationships?
When you always say “Yes” to others’ requests and suggestions you are not allowing other people to really get to know you. All they know is that you are someone with no preferences, who always says “Yes”. While it might feel that you are always surrounded by people who could help, you could find yourself alone in a moment of need. You could also suddenly realize you won’t be able to accommodate everybody. It often happens to those affected by Yesomania that accommodation might be the only thing people came to them for. Once “Yes” is not on the menu they will disappear and you will see the friends who stay with you and can help in times of need.
Your finances are bound to suffer if you can’t say “No” to a small loan, going out to a restaurant that’s too expensive, or buying something you don’t need because you can’t refuse a salesperson. Do a quick calculation – how much did it cost you over the last month?
How about health and stress?
If you can not say ‘No’ to your boss’ request to stay for a few hours longer and skip the gym as a result, you might start piling up those pounds that are so hard to lose later on. When you are on a diet and say “Yes” to a friend’s dessert, your waist line is likely to suffer.
Also, When you are spread too thin you’re stressed. Period. You do not have the time to evaluate your priorities and that in itself leads to additional stress.
Irina, thanks, so much, for that peek into the kind of help you offer in your book!
I should add that, even if a particular reader of your blog doesn’t have the problems that come with Yesomania, the book would make a great gift (for under $5) for any push-overs in their life!
Absolutely, Irina!! Thanks, again, for stopping off on your BlogTour and I’m sure your book could help many of our readers :-)
Listen to Irina’s audio interview at TheGCafe
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