Great things begin from saying yes. It can turn first dates into relationships; challenges into job contracts, and favors into opportunities but sometimes, leaving a foot on the “yes pedal” will drive us up the wall. When the irrational urge to say the Y-word rears its ugly head, remember you are the master of your own happiness. Reclaim what’s yours by learning how to say no.


When what you really mean is …

1. “I’m busy.”

Examine what’s currently on your plate before taking on new commitments. Is the new commitment something you can still accommodate? Is it something you feel strongly about? If so, take it. It might be a great opportunity to prove just what you’re made of. Otherwise, take a pass. Keep in mind that it’s better to do three things well than to do ten things badly.


2. “That’s not my thing.”

Saying no to friends can be quite tricky. Often, it’s easier to just “go along” instead of looking like the resident killjoy. Keep in mind, it’s cooler to prioritize your personal boundaries over your friends’ idea of a good time. Say no to activities that make you uncomfortable. If your friends continue to egg you on, firmly assert yourself. Reassert your stand or choice with authority and show that you are unwavering in your decision. Soon enough, they will respect your choice and conviction.


3. “I want to change for the better.”

Steering clear of a bad habit like sweets or cigarettes is an impressive but precarious feat. All it takes is a simple lapse in concentration to undo the hard work you’ve invested into becoming a better you. So instead of picking your scabs open, say no to temptation. A good way to do this is by picking up new and more productive activities like yoga, mountain climbing or painting. Working on a better you will set you apart from the crowd and is definitely a step in the right direction.


4. “I want to have my me-time.”

There’s no shame in wanting to spend an entire day taking it easy, so don’t feel bad if you feel like turning down an offer to hang-out. Once you say no, though, be direct. Refrain from using wishy-washy phrases like “I’ll think about it.” or “I’m not sure.” as it implies that you’re open to changing your mind. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If guilt eats your peace of mind away, suggest an alternative date instead that both you and a friend can commit to.

In a way, saying no is still saying yes. Only this time, it’s saying yes to yourself.

If you want to be understood, be direct with your intentions. Articulate yourself with confidence as you say “yes” to exciting possibilities and “no” to being a doormat. Your happiness rests in your hands.

Reveal the best you.