The Beauty of ‘No’

Saying no is tough. If you’re anything like me you get major FOMO anytime you say no. To a job offer, any type of social event or even a sale at H&M. Us yes-sayers need to learn: you can do anything but not everything.

Have you ever found yourself thinking no and blurting out yes? Why do we do this? Because we think ‘no’ is rude, selfish or a rejection. But it’s not. It’s clarification. Yes and no make up your boundaries. Saying yes to something you want to say no to causes stress, anxiety and mind cluttering. As a result, a lot of us are running through life instead of walking.

Here are a couple of tips for the yes-sayer:

  • Firstly, park that car. Don’t say yes or no immediately. Think before you blurt out yes. If you say you’ll get back to it, you give yourself time to make a realistic and strategic decision, instead of giving a spontaneous, emotional response.
  • Yes is not necessarily good just like no is not always bad. When you are confronted with a question, realize what you are saying yes to, because that means you are saying no to something else. Yes and no come hand in hand.
  • Be proud of the things you say no to as much as the things you say yes to. Be sure to clarify your motivations but don’t make up excuses, lie or overexplain. Sometimes, no is a complete sentence in itself.
  • Saying no is all about honesty. Most of all being honest to yourself. Saying what you really mean can be really difficult and scary but in the end, it is the type of self-respect you deserve.

We are all a work in progress so don’t expect to become a nay-sayer overnight. However, the more you practice the more you’ll learn. Try implementing some of these tips and strive towards a balance between your yays and your nays.


Eva van der Graaf. Born in The Netherlands. Raised in Africa. MSc Animal Science. Freelance Writer and Translator. Owner of WritingBy. Hippie at Heart.