I am empowered with choice and the right to say no.
I know how to assert myself and say no.
I know how to be honest and say no.
I do not make excuses, I just say no.
I do not say yes or maybe when I mean no, I just say no.
The neighbor, sweet as she is, needs another ride somewhere. You have the time but really don’t want to play chauffeur right now. Maybe you just got home. Maybe you’re tired. You volley your options back and forth as she stands at your door waiting for an answer. You find yourself saying, “Sure, give me a minute.” Later you’ll berate yourself for answering the door, though you might be better off wondering why you couldn’t find the word no in your vocabulary.
It’s such a little word, but those two letters must hold some tremendously big power for so many to avoid using them. Perhaps we don’t like to say no because we don’t like to hear it, or maybe we learned as children that it was not okay to say no. Sometimes we feel selfish or hurtful saying no, or are afraid of losing the good opinion of others. Sometimes we’re afraid of losing something else – a relationship, a job, a possibility. Whatever the reason, the result of not being able to say no can be ugly. Being resentful, acting as a martyr or passive-aggressively, making excuses, dodging questions, and lacking healthy boundaries are often the unwanted by-products.
On the other hand, it’s really amazing what happens when we do start saying no. People respect us. They respect our empowerment, our directness, our honesty, and our ability to do what so many cannot. And by asserting ourselves, we promote our own healthy self-esteem and start expecting others to do the same. The next time someone asks you, “Do you want to… (fill in the blank)?” Answer honestly. If you don’t want to, say no, then see what happens. You might be shocked to realize how good a gentle, courteous “No.” can feel.
An excellent companion for this affirmation: