More and more Italians are saying "yes" - when in actual fact they would rather answer "no".

This surprising fact emerged from a survey conducted by Riza Psicosomatica, an Italian bodily and mental health magazine, who interviewed 1,000 Italians of both sexes between the ages of 25-65.

Six out of 10 Italians find it impossible to deny the requests of their boss but also their partners, parents, children and friends, even in cases where consenting hurt their dignity or pride.

Of those interviewed, 21 per cent admitted that they only manage to refuse a request "sometimes" and only 11 per cent say "no" often. Only eight per cent manage to shake their heads whenever they think a request is unsuitable.

According to the survey, the main reasons for not speaking up are to avoid futile arguments ('31 per cent), laziness (24 per cent) and embarrasment (18 per cent). Other reasons include a lack of courage and fear of judgement.

In 29 per cent of cases, however, Italians feel a great sense of frustration in consenting to unwelcome requests while 23 per cent end up feeling bad about themselves.

One Italian out of three will only say no in extreme situations, when they feel they have their back against the wall and have no other choice, while one out of four will say "no" as a means of revenge.