What happens when someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do?
Do you ever say “yes” when your mind and body are screaming “no?”
If so, read on because we’re about to fix that real quick. Here’s why “no” is a complete sentence, plus the top three reasons why you should say it more often (with #2 illustrated by a baby sloth).
Reason #1 Why You Should Say “No” More Often: People who you want in your life will respect and love you more for saying it. People who you don’t want in your life will leave.
Receiving a “no” from someone is great because then you have a clear, definitive answer and you can take, redirect, and refocus your energy in a different direction.
Did someone that you asked out say no? Awesome! Now you can spend your time and energy focusing on someone else who actually wants to spend time with you, who appreciates you and wants to make time for you.
Getting a long, drawn-out “maybe” is confusing. Confusion leads to chaos, and the lack of a clear answer wastes everyone’s time and energy.
Getting a fake or dishonest “yes” sucks, especially when someone commits to something and then flakes or ghosts.
The bottom line is, people will love, respect, and appreciate you more when you give them a clear and honest “no.” This demonstrates respect for their time (and your own).
When you say “no” to something, you are taking care of yourself by setting a boundary. You are refusing to do something that you can’t or simply don’t want to do. If a person in your life cares about you, they will support your decision to take care of yourself. If a person in your life doesn’t care about you, they’ll get mad about your no and try to negotiate you out of it or convince you otherwise. This is a great way to differentiate between who you should keep close in your life and who you should release from it. Anyone worth keeping in your life will respect and support your “no.” They may not always love it, but they will accept it and respect and love you regardless.
Reason #2 Why You Should Say “No” More Often: It is loving and teaches you that you are worth listening to, honoring, and protecting.
Saying “no” is a way of protecting yourself.
When you say “no,” you are taking care of yourself and teaching yourself and others that you are worthy of being cared for and respected.
A “no” protects your time, energy, and integrity.
Integrity is being congruent with what you think, feel, say, and do. If someone asks you to do something and your heart and head are saying “no, I don’t want to do that” but your mouth opens up and says, “yes, I’ll do that,” then you are acting out of integrity with yourself.
Every time you act out of integrity is a microaggression against yourself. You are sending yourself the message that you aren’t worth protecting, caring for, or honoring. The more you act out of integrity, the more you hurt yourself and begin to believe that message.
By saying “no” when you mean no, you are reclaiming your right to protect, respect, and cherish yourself: To choose what you want and to decide and to do what is best for you.
Reason #3 Why You Should Say “No” More Often: It’s a powerful complete sentence that doesn’t require explanation.
You never need to explain your “no.”
You never need to say “no, because…”
Trying to explain your no can actually take away from the power of it.
Which is a more powerful response to someone who asks you, “Want to go out with me on Sunday?” (Assuming you don’t.)
Response A: I’d like to, but I can’t because I promised my mother I’d take her shopping for goldfish that day. Sorry.
Response B: No.
Response “A” opens you up to follow-up questions. “How about next Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday? What kind of goldfish? Maybe I can help?”
Response “B” is clear, firm, and final. The answer is no. There is no room for negotiation, and no explanation is necessary.
You don’t ever owe anyone a reason for saying “no.” You don’t need anyone else’s approval or agreement to take care of yourself. You never have to explain, justify, or give a reason for taking care of yourself and putting yourself first.
That being said, you might not feel entirely comfortable just saying “no” and leaving it at that. Here are alternatives you can use that also communicate a clear, firm “no:”
“No, thank you.”
“Thanks for asking, but I’m not interested.”
“I appreciate your offer, but I’m not available.”
You don’t have to be a dick about it. You can say “no” in a caring, compassionate, and respectful way.
As another alternative, you can also respond by saying, “Let me think about that and get back to you.”
Then take time to feel into it, and when you decide what feels best for you, respond with a clear and honest answer.
Practice, practice, practice!
Saying “no” is like lifting weights.
The more you practice doing it, the easier it gets and the stronger you’ll become.
If you’re not used to doing it, it might feel a little awkward at first. Once you start, it’ll feel better and get easier the more you do it.
Once your body realizes you’re finally listening to it, it’ll continue to speak up and guide you in ways that are right and true for you.
When you say “no” to something, you create space for something else. You allow yourself the possibility of choice. If you choose to say yes to something, do so from a place of love, inspiration, and care instead of bitterness, annoyance, and resentment. If you choose to say no, also do so from a place of love, inspiration, and care.
Our time and energy are the most precious resources we have. By saying “no,” we can choose to spend them more wisely, more consciously, and more lovingly towards ourselves and others.
The bottom line is this: Say “no” and say it often. Say it whenever your mind and body tell you that’s what you need, and don’t apologize for taking care of yourself by setting a clear boundary in this way.
Practice Now: Who or what will you say “no” to, today?
If you want to talk to a professional about your current situation in which you may have difficulty saying “no,” determining whether you even want to say “no,” practicing saying “no,” setting healthy boundaries for yourself, or anything else when it comes to dating, sex, love, or relationships, feel free to contact us here.
If you’re looking for permission, you’ve got it.
Is there something that you really want to do, but you’re waiting for a sign that you should do it?
For the record, this is your sign.
Now go and do the thing that you want to do.
For future reference, to make this process even easier, let’s break down how you can always find a clear sign pointing in the direction you should go.
Have you ever been like, “This job sucks. I hate it. I wish there was a sign that it’s time to leave.”
Or, “That person seems amazing and I’d love to get to know them better. I wish I had a sign that would make it clear it’s the right time to approach them.”
Psst. Guess what?
YOUR FEELINGS ARE A SIGN.
Yep. Feelings, those things that we tend to justify, minimize, ignore, or stuff away because they pop up at the most inconvenient times.
In our world, logic rules. We are told to consider and think through every possibility, to make lists of pro’s and con’s, and to carefully weigh all our options.
The thing is, our brains are pretty smart. They can talk us in or out of anything. In the process, “over-analysis paralysis” can happen — when you become so overwhelmed with all of the data that you freeze and ultimately do nothing.
Using your brain is important and your mind is a precious and essential asset. That being said, when it comes right down to it, make sure you do a quick fact check with your heart. It can’t lie, and when you listen closely, there is often only one truth that exists: The decision that is best for you.
How To Do A Quick Fact Check With Your Heart
You’ve done all the thinking, considering, comparing, and assessing. Now it’s time to do a final fact check with your emotions:
Yes, Do It!You feel a warm rush through your heart and an openness in your chest. Your body opens to the idea. It might be a little tingly with excitement or nervousness, but that’s normal and healthy, especially if you’re thinking about doing something that you’ve never done before.
No, Don’t Do It!You feel your chest tighten and your shoulders tense up. Your body closes and shuts itself off to the idea.
Once you have a clear answer, you get to choose whether or not to do it.
The more you listen to your body and your heart, the more it will speak to you, guide you, and lead you in living a life of truth. If you’re not used to listening to it, it might be hard at first.
Keep asking, keep listening, and keep paying attention.
You always have the signs that you need to do the things that are best for you.
If you want to talk to a professional about how to tap further into your feelings and truth, how to distinguish between something that you’re afraid to do but want to do versus something that you are afraid to do and don’t want to do, how to reconcile making decisions from your heart instead of or in addition your head, or anything else when it comes to dating, sex, love, or relationships, feel free to reach out. We're here to help.
Good luck on your continued journey of discovery, connection, and love!
As Dan Savage says, it’s important to date your own kind.
If you are a monogamous person, you should date another monogamous person.
If you are not a monogamous person, you should date another non-monogamous person.
It seems simple enough, right? Unfortunately, problems arise when you don’t have clarity about which “kind” of person you are. When you get confused about which you are and attempt to date or marry the “other kind,” all sorts of messiness and drama can ensue.
Most people blindly accept the Disney “and then they lived happily ever after” standard without doing any deeper questioning about whether or not “one partner and only one partner for the rest of eternity” is the right choice for them. Over 50% of married couples get divorced. In a study conducted in 2007, extramarital affairs and infidelity were listed as the reason for 32 percent of divorces.
What if those divorces were the result of a monogamous person marrying a non-monogamous person?
What if all of that pain and drama could be avoided if people were honest about who they are and what they are looking for in the first place?
One of Entrepreneur Love's “Pillars of Compatibility” is making sure you know whether you are monogamous or non-monogamous in order to match you with someone compatible.
So, are you monogamous or non-monogamous?
First, a definition:
Monogamy is defined as the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner at a time.
Non-monogamy is a blanket term that covers everything else, from swinging and open relationships to polyamory. Here’s a sampling of different non-monogamy options:
And even more possibilities on this infamous Map of Non-Monogamy:
Take the “Am I Monogamous or Non-Monogamous?” Quiz now:
1. How do you feel when you imagine having sex with one amazing person (and only that one amazing person) for the rest of your life?
A. Excited and grateful.
B. Uncertain and hesitant.
C. Anxious and uncomfortable.
2. In the past, I have stayed faithful to one person.
A. Yes, with ease.
B. Yes, with difficulty.
3. Could you romantically love more than one person at a time?
A. No, I can only romantically love one person at a time.
B. I’m not sure, but I might be open to trying it if the right opportunity arose.
C. Yes, I can romantically love more than one person at a time.
4. Could you have sex with more than one person at a time?
A. No, I can only have sex with one person at a time.
B. I’m not sure, but I might be open to trying it if the right opportunity arose.
C. Yes, I can have sex with more than one person at a time.
5. When I think about being in an open relationship or opening up my current relationship…
A. I feel sick, stressed, and closed.
B. I feel cautious, uncertain, and curious.
C. I feel excited, willing, and open.
If you answered mostly A’s… Congratulations! You are most likely monogamous. It is highly recommend you date other people who are also wired to be monogamous in order to have the highest chance of success when it comes to a loving, lasting relationship.
If you answered mostly B’s… Cool! You aren’t sure which you are, which is normal and awesome because now you have the chance to figure it out. Try dating both monogamous and non-monogamous people in order to determine which feels better and more honest for you.
If you answered mostly C’s… Congratulations! You are most likely non-monogamous. It is highly recommend you date other people are are also wired to be non-monogamous in order to have the highest chance of success when it comes to a loving relationship (or multiple loving relationships).
According to a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, one in five Americans has participated in an open relationship of some kind. It is more real and more possible than ever before to explore nontraditional relationship options — doing something new and different can be scary, but it’s even scarier to live a life that isn’t true to who you are.
If you’re a non-monogamous person dating a monogamous person, it isn’t cool or fair to them or to you. If you end up cheating, lying, and suppressing how you feel, what you need, and what you want, you are hurting your partner, living out of integrity, and depriving yourself of the chance to live a life of courage, honesty, and openness.
If you’re a monogamous person dating someone who is non-monogamous hoping they will one day change, that isn’t cool or fair to them or to you. If someone is non-monogamous, no amount of love will change that. It isn’t that they don’t love you — it’s that they’re just not wired the same way. If you try to convince, cajole, or fix your partner into becoming monogamous, you will drain and disappoint both of you in the process.
You deserve someone who will love you, celebrate you, and accept you as you are. This type of connection is possible, but only if you have clarity and acceptance about who and what you are looking for first.
The emotional vulnerability and communication required to actually talk to your partner about what you want and need is intimidating. It can be scary to challenge societal norms and to have the courage to explore this part of who you are or may be.
If you want to talk to a licensed coach or therapist about determining whether you are monogamous or non-monogamous, what to do about it once you find out which you are, how to safely explore the possibility of opening up your current relationship if that feels right to you, how to talk to your partner about non-monogamy, or anything else when it comes to dating, sex, love, or relationships, feel free to reach out. We're here to help.