Just say no

Image: Alex Holyoake

When someone asks you to do something and you don’t want to do it, what do you do? (Especially when you feel kinda bad for not wanting to do it?)

If you’re like me, you probably agitate. You throw out an explanation so long and intricate that you think you were being grilled on the witness stand.

Have you ever just said, “No,” and left it at that?

How terrifying does that sound? Doesn’t it feel like you’d horribly offend the other person if you did that?

Why is that? Why, on both ends, do we feel like ‘no’ deserves an explanation?

I’m not sure why. But I want to challenge you to just say no.

When you want to say, “No,” just say, “No,” and nothing else — calmly, kindly, and confidently.

No anger. No resentment. No guilt… Just, “No.” Sure, go ahead and throw a, “Thank you,” in there afterwards if it helps you feel better. But try it out. Your decision needs no long-winded explanation.

‘No’ should be taken, and given, as it is. ‘No’ is enough.


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