“No” Is A Full Sentence & You Don’t Have To Explain Yourself

Refusing anything, whether it’s lending someone $20 or letting them spend the night, was always something that we were taught to feel guilty about. Forget all that. If you feel like you’re being pressured into something, it’s important  to say no — and to remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it.

  1. No means no. In other words, the reasons why don’t matter. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to do it, and no one can force you to do it. If someone refuses to take no for an answer, you’re better off dropping them from your life.
  2. Explaining yourself can open doors to manipulation. People who demand an explanation or a good reason as to why you don’t want to deal with them often do so because they know that they might be able to weasel their way back in if they can get you talking to them. Knowing why you’re rejecting them allows them to overcome those reasons, or otherwise emotionally blackmail you into doing what they say. By refusing to give them an explanation, you cut their power over you short.
  3. You honestly don’t even need to have a reason. Sure, at times it may be wise to wonder why you’re doing something, but the truth is that love isn’t a logical thing. You can, for reasons unbeknownst to you, not be attracted to someone who would be a perfect match for you on paper. There’s no need to explain why. It’s love, and you can’t force it.
  4. It’s better to say no without a reason than to say yes to something you really truly don’t want to do. At times, we all get asked to do things that are really not in our best interest and could actually hurt us. This might be anything from going on a date with someone we don’t like to attending a concert we can’t really afford tickets for. When we’re stuck doing things we don’t like, it can quickly become a precedent on how our relationships with other people work. So, if you don’t want to be a doormat, start saying no.
  5. More often than not, the less you say, the more others respect you. There’s a reason why the “strong, silent type” is a common description of people in power. Silence is golden, and it often shows a lot of guts when you can stand your ground without worriedly explaining things away. By refusing to bend to common social pressures involved in refusing someone’s company or refusing to do a task you feel uncomfortable with, you demonstrate that you will stick to your guns and that you won’t let others walk all over you.
  6. You don’t need to answer to anyone. Who is anyone to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do in a relationship? It is not their lives that you’re living; it’s yours. They don’t own you. They don’t live with the consequences that would happen to you if things go downhill. Since you’re the one who will have to deal with the consequences, it’s up to you to protect yourself and make decisions that make you happy — regardless of how much others may hate you for it.
Ossiana Tepfenhart works as an editor to FunNewJersey's magazine, and has been working with a massive series of lifestyle sites including Woman Around Town and Guff.com