“NO” is a Complete Sentence

I am a recovering “yes” woman.

It’s been a long road. For much of my life, I’ve fallen into the trap of (over)committing to tasks and events of all kinds, mostly out of a warped sense of obligation. It was if the word “yes” would tumble out of my mouth before I could catch it.

“Hey, wanna go to this party with me?” Yes.

“Hey, mind covering this part of the project too?” Yes.

“I said that we can helping her out this weekend. Is that okay?” Yes.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

However, I didn’t want to go the party.

I did mind that I was once again bearing the brunt of the group project.

And, I’m actually not okay with helping her out this weekend.

Women especially are discouraged from saying “no.” I cannot tell you how many times I and my fellow female friends have said “yes” to things that inconvenienced us, robbed us of our joy, or went against our principles, because we didn’t want to sound mean, rude, or the ultimate one: selfish. Further, there’s this the gnawing (and ultimately inaccurate) guilt of feeling like an inherently bad person for saying “no” even if saying yes would mean overextending oneself.

Even so, exercising your right to say “no” saves so much aggravation. It keeps you away from situations and scenarios that will ultimately steal time away from commitments that actually matter, and it keeps you from feelings of resentment.

And as for the guilt of being unavailable? Don’t. They will figure it out.

NO isn’t a curse word. It’s a valid choice. It’s a complete sentence that needs no explanation.

And it’s okay to say it.

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