Why You Should Say No

NOTE: These words were originally posted on January 16, 2015. But they are still relevant today as they were last year and hundreds of years ago. Women, girls, ladies, so many of us still need constant encouragement to voice a strong no when that is our truth!

In the U.S., “No” may be the hardest word to say. If you are a woman, it is particularly fraught with angst. I know where this stems from, but I don’t fully understand why it is still so firmly rooted in our female psyche. After all, “No” is so simple. It’s just two letters and one syllable and can be a complete sentence. Right?! Wrong!

Often, my No’s seems to fly out of my mouth before I can muck them up with so-called “niceties.” But, I too know what is feels like to cower and be afraid to voice my “No” definitively. (For many of those who think they know me: Surprise!) Today, it seems like we are all afraid of the tiny word “No.” Afraid of being judged as “mean,” “not nice,” “not a team player.” Whatever.

an image of woman signaling no or stop with her hand

Frankly, I looove to hear the word “No.” And when it comes from the heart, I like it even better. When it comes from me, I’m proud as a glorious Indian peafowl that I was courageous enough to be true to my values, my thoughts, my feelings. When it comes from others, I appreciate that they feel comfortable enough with me to be authentic — at least now there is actually a real possibility for meaningful connection. And just as important, they are not toying with my time, with my life.

But here’s a really important thing to burn permanently on your brain about saying “No”: If you cannot freely voice your “No” to someone, the foundation that your relationship is built on is like a sandcastle residing at the edge of an ocean. Furthermore, until you can say “No” freely to the things that you do not want, you cannot say “Yes” to the things that you do. And by sitting on the fence, teetering back and forth, you could be blocking new scandalous possibilities from finding you.

So let us make this the year of the honest “No.” Do not let your “No” get silenced by the whims or conceit of others.

Call to Action: Is “No” easy or impossible for you to voice? And why? I want to hear your voice, so please share in the comments below.

Related articles you might find interesting:

Is This a Dirty Word?
Why I’m Done Being a Nice Girl

5 thoughts on “Why You Should Say No

  1. Thanks Janine, I have been enjoying your blog. Your voice is a fresh one expressing simple truths in complex world. Keep up the good work.

  2. This is so well put! I am in my senior years, and it is so refreshing when I say NO to something that I do not want to do. It is correct what they say about children and seniors. They do not hesitate to say NO. Every one should learn from them and follow their example. Saying NO is not a dirty word.

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