you can say No! saying No w/o guilt – the Year of No


I posted a brand new YSN video on YouTube, which you can find below.  If you prefer to read content, then follow along with this blog!

In this post, I will be discussing an introduction to THE YEAR OF NO. Doesn’t that just sound INVITING?  Like a carefully curated year of things you WANT and NEED with people you WANT and NEED?

Don’t get me wrong; I understand the Year of Yes: trying new things, being open for yourself.  Love the self-discovery angle.  But also:

My Thoughts on the Year of No

  1. what a waste of time
  2. what a disregard for your time (giving no thought to HOW you want to spend your time)’
  3. how scary, especially for anxious people and people that over-think everything.
  4. And self discovery can happen even when you say No, or even Because you say No.

The Year of No seems to be all the rage right now.  Lots of us are beginning to realize the importance and frankly the necessity of saying No. And saying No early and often.  There is no better time than 22 to learn how to say No effectively and how to curate this life with activities and people and places we want.

In this post, let’s go over the bare-naked basics of three No-related questions.

Why is it so hard to say no?

It’s different for every person. Some of the reasons include I feel guilty, I feel obligated, I don’t want people to think (fill in the blank of your worst personality trait fear!) of me.

In her book Fuck No, anti-selfcare guru Sarah Knight boils down the Yes-Men reasons into four kinds of people:

  1. The People Pleaser* (guilt, obligation)
  2. The FOMO’er* (but I’ll miss out! And am bound to miss out in the future)
  3. The Overachiever* (wants everything does perfectly)
  4. The Pushover* (dislikes confrontation, easier to say Yes and do it than to say No)

*indicates that I am personally this characteristic. Yes, I am all of them according to the Why Do I Say Yes All the Goddamn Time? Quiz, which you need to take here.

How can I remind myself that saying No is okay?

Assuming you’ve already set your boundaries, saying No means you’re saying Yes to your boundaries — to protect your energy, time and money.  If you haven’t set your boundaries, get on that.  And/or I can do a video/post on it.

Here’s a powerful quote from Fuck No:

saying no TO yourself means you are saying no FOR yourself

Sarah Knight, “Fuck No”

Also y’all, you’re doing a public service.  You NEED to say No in order to normalize the act of saying no! How very good of you! And thank you for your service.

But how can I say no?

This can be an entirely different video – or better yet, please go purchase Fuck No.

BUT since you’re here, here are two quick and dirty tips I found: a note on “Maybe” and personal policies.

First of all, MAYBE is not a No. Even if you’re pretending it is.  Maybe is a cop out and it’s a way to leave your “friends, family and colleagues dangling like goddamn participles.”  Maybe is NOT acceptable or an alternative for saying No. Maybe is not the answer. Don’t do it. Respect the other person, please.

Personal policies

I’ll share with you my best personal example of a Personal Policy.  Lemme tell you: it works amazingly.

By choice I did not consume alcohol before the age of 21. This includes in high school which is an especially hard time for kids (yes KIDS. CHILDREN Y’ALL) to say No. B/c of my personal policy, there was really no doubt in anyone’s mind that the answer was No from me.  So I was rarely ever asked to drink nor invited to anything that would be in violation of my personal policy. My personal policy was crystal clear and I (believe I) was respected for it. Because I respected myself enough to have a policy to better myself.

Examples of personal policies:

I don’t lend $ to my friends.

I don’t go out to eat more than x times in a week.

Note: Personal policies should be used sparingly but can be extremely effective especially when referring back to your Boundaries.

Again, this post and video was only an introduction to the Year of No. I hope this Whet your appetite to continue exploring this topic throughout the year and curating your life to your wants and needs. In the comments, please let me know if this is more of your Year of Yes or more of your Year of No and why.

Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to my You Seem Normal YouTube channel for videos and blog posts every single Monday at 10 a.m. CST, as well as my @youseemnormal Instagram for content throughout the week.

Don’t be normal but say No.


Fuck No (Sarah Knight)

No Fucks Given No Quiz (Sarah Knight)

Why Is It So Hard To Say No? (WBUR)

Why Saying No Is Difficult (Carley Schweet)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s