Is it okay to say “No”? Absolutely.
Healthy boundaries are one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others around you. You don’t have to be a people-pleasing yes-person or a negative-no-no-no persona. Finding your comfort level in every situation is what will make you a better You.
Recently, I heard Mike Domitrz of The Date Safe Project, say “No is never mean”. The statement is appropriate for many situations. Mr. Domitrz was speaking of personal and sexual boundaries. “No is never mean”, is a great way to teach No to our culture, family, and friends.
Boundaries exist in many areas of our lives. We have property boundaries, legal boundaries, and our own physical boundaries. I’m not exactly sure when we hear the message that our No isn’t good enough and the only way to be nice is to say yes to everything.
Ladies (and gents), I’m here to set you free. You can do it. “Just say no”, as First Lady, Nancy Reagan taught our nation to say No to Drugs in the eighties. If you are feeling pressured, bullied, or pushed into a situation it is okay to Just Say No.
Our culture doesn’t always respect No. Stick to it. Keep saying No until you are heard.
We teach our children to say no to strangers or people that might harm them. We want them to stand their ground with bullies. As parents, we equip teenagers and children with the ability to say No.
My dad always told me, “we teach people how we want to be treated”. I’ve found his sage advice always to be appropriate. I like it so much, I might have it embroidered on a pillow.
When we are consistent with our life message we show the world, family and friends it’s easier for people to understand your no means no, and your yes means yes. Consistency also builds up our strength to stand up for ourselves. You can do it.
It isn’t just in a dating, drug, or bullying situation that we need to use our No. How many times have you agreed to bake cookies last minute for one of your kid’s activities or agreed to do a volunteer task that you loathed?
Adults often overburden ourselves with commitments that can be life draining and not giving. Be sure when you say your Yes, it is to do something that fits with your timeline, skills, and availability.
My advice: Go practice saying No until you mean it. Save your Yes for things that bring life into your life. Teach your world to honor your boundaries and you will be a happier, better You!
For more information about Mike Domitrz and Date Safe Project visit: https://www.datesafeproject.org/.
You can share Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign on YouTube with your kids.