Saying “No” In These Situations Isn’t Rude — It’s Healthy

Calling all people pleasers — this one’s for you. If you’re in the nasty little habit of saying yes to every damn thing someone asks of you, it’s time to stop. You’re the master and commander of your own life, no one else. If you’re always bending over backward to please your friends, family, and S.O., you need to stop, take a deep breath, and start saying a hearty, “Hell, no!” — especially in these 10 circumstances:

  1. When you’re on a date with the worst guy. Just because this guy’s pulled on a clean pair of jeans, done his hair, and paid you the courtesy of turning up to your date doesn’t mean that you owe him a damn thing. That’s just not how it works. If he’s the worst — if he’s rude, racist, simple, or just plain not your type — you get to say no to a second date. You don’t need to appease him and pretend there’s a chance you’ll be the main characters in the next great love story. It’s BS, so just be honest and say you’re not feeling it.
  2. When your friend drains you emotionally. Everyone has that one friend who just takes, takes, takes from them emotionally — and frankly, everyone should cut that person loose. If the majority of your conversations revolve around you consoling the girl after some grand drama, you have to ask yourself one simple question: what are you getting out of this relationship? If the answer is nothing, it’s time to turn her down the next time she wants a quick coffee and chat.
  3. When you’re playing second fiddle in a relationship. When you commit yourself to a guy, he should do the same thing. If he’s always hitting on other women or making you feel like you’re not his priority, he shouldn’t be yours. Life’s too short to be playing second fiddle to anyone else in this world. If you’re not his number one lady, it’s time to walk away… and don’t you dare look back.
  4. When people play you for a damn fool. Friends do things for one another. There’s nothing particularly odd about that. Still, if your so-called friend is using you as a glorified babysitter, dog sitter, house sitter, or maid but she’s never around when you need a favor, something is up. Some people think that you owe them simply because they give you the time of day. That’s BS. If your soon-to-be-ex-friend is playing you for a fool, say goodbye to that relationship.
  5. When you’re not ‘in the mood’ for sex. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a horndog for 364 days a year or not — if you have an off-day, you’re more than entitled to say no to sex. Sex is (hopefully) a two-way street. Both of you have to be in the mood to get down and dirty or there’s just no point. Don’t just do it to shut your guy up. There’s something seriously screwed up if you think that’s the way to maintain a healthy relationship.
  6. When your boss is pushing your limits. Spoiler: Some (horrible) bosses will play off of your insecurities. If you worry about the stability of your job, your manager may be using that against you. When a boss asks more and more of you on a daily basis, you have to know when to speak up. It’s totally okay to say no to something that’s outside of your role requirements. You’re a valued employee, not a slave. Remember that.
  7. When you’ve had enough to drink… and know it. “Shots, shots, shots!” Sound familiar? Sometimes, when you’re out with your friends, you don’t want to be the loser that switches to water first. Still, if you’ve officially had enough for the night, it’s okay to say so. Turning down the offer of another round of shots isn’t lame; sometimes, it’s necessary. Anyone who judges you for that is not a friend.
  8. When your S.O. wants something weird in bed. Weird sex (so long as it’s consensual and legal) can be utterly fantastic. However, if you’re not down with something, you absolutely have to say something. Going along with someone else’s fetishes when you’re not comfortable with them can honestly be quite damaging. Sure, you want to make your partner happy, but not at an emotional, mental, or physical cost to yourself.
  9. When a guy is being pushy AF about dating you. If a guy is pursuing TF out of you, it can be flattering… so long as you’re into it. If you’re not, it can actually be rather frightening. There’s nothing scarier than a guy who seems like he just won’t take no for an answer. If you’ve tiptoed around the subject of dates up until now, make yourself 100% clear and give the dude a solid, “Hell, no!”
  10. Whenever you damn well please! Sure, all of the above are legitimate times when putting your foot down is the only way to go. Still, there are really no limits on when you should refuse something. Remember, you don’t have to do anything. If someone is trying to make you feel that you do, they’re the ones in the wrong. Saying no when you don’t want to do something isn’t just necessary, it can actually be rather liberating. So go ahead and say it.
Charlotte is a freelance writer who's addicted to binge-watching TV, drinking far too much coffee, and writing articles.