How to Say No

A cartoon. In the first panel, the orange guy asks, "Do you want more of x?". The blue guy responds, "No!" The orange guy asks, Are you sure? That seems so final."

It can be tough to say no. Especially if the other person wants to hear yes.

“Do you want to come to my party?” No.

“Can we talk for a minute?” No.

It can even be tough to say no to yourself. After all, who wants to deny themselves anything?

“Should I watch this good TV show?” No.

“Should I stay up late having fun?” No.

I find it’s easier to say no if I have a clear picture about what would make me happy. As a matter of fact, I think the whole point of saying no is so that you have enough space in your life to say yes to the things that make you happy.

I would like to have a quiet night, so I can’t come to the party. I need to concentrate on something I’m doing, so I can’t talk right now. I would like to spend more time learning and/or doing something creative, so I can’t watch TV right now. I would like to have a productive morning, so I can’t stay up late tonight.

This, of course, means you have to think very carefully about what makes you happy.

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