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No More To Not Saying No!

In life women are expected to be agreeable. To smile despite having a terrible day, to fit into the societal norms of always being polite and patient and caring. To be effortlessly beautiful without ‘trying to hard’, because then it’s tacky. Women cannot be too loud or too quiet, they can’t take up too much space or too little, they can’t even want a lifetime role that isn’t motherhood because then they’re selfish. Most of all, women are not entitled to saying ‘No’.

No. A two letter word that is seemingly off limits to women.

When women say no, when women set boundaries, they are difficult or rude. When a woman says no to a date she’s snobby, when she says no to plans she’s boring or uptight, and when she says no to sex she’s a plethora of whatever demeaning terms come to mind.

Women have been backed into a corner of agreeableness. Based on societal expectations and norms women have lost their autonomy.

This piece is meant to empower and encourage women to say ‘no’. To say it without hesitation or guilt, because that’s how it should be.

Don’t get me wrong, saying no is something I myself struggle with. Setting boundaries and putting myself first makes me feel selfish and mean. I feel like a mean person after I’ve said no to someone. Because I have been made to feel like no is not an answer. I vowed to myself that during my college years I would work on saying no, on setting boundaries with everyone and anything that I feel deserves it. I am entitled to saying no and so is every other woman out there that feels as if she is not.

I believe the key to saying no is reflecting on your personal values and beliefs. To understand what you want and do not want in life. To know what you dislike and like. It’s having confidence in yourself and your decision making. Most of all, it’s not going back once you’ve said no (unless you strongly feel you should). The time of women’s passiveness is over. In the twenty-first century we need to normalize saying and hearing the word no. To take away the weight behind the word and accept that everyone is free to say it as much or as little as they wish.

Something I’ve done to help me in saying no is pretending I’m saying it for someone else, because I would gladly stick up for my friends or family in heartbeat. It’s easier to say no when you have this third person view on things, even taking yourself out of the situation and imagining it happening to someone else could help. I find that when I do this I have a much easier time rejecting whatever scenario that has been bestowed upon me.

This doesn’t mean that the guilt of saying no disappears, personally speaking of course. But at some point in your learning to say no process the guilt has to fade to the background. Your personal boundaries and beliefs are so much more than the temporary feeling of guilt that one feels.

When learning to say no, we also have to take the notion that it’s rude or impolite out of it. It doesn’t have to be this big, awkward thing. In learning to say no, we must accept the answer no ourselves.

So, next time you’re uncomfortable, or busy, or just because you don’t want to do something, say no!

As women we are forced to meet and compromise so many things in our lives. Do not let your power to say no be compromised or be taken away from you. Or even other women, if you see someone struggling to say no, stand up for them. It has the ability to be a chain reaction, a behavior learned through other women.

Just know that no is a valid answer, that needs no explanation unless you wish to give one. It’s completely okay to say no to anything or to anyone. If there is one thing that I would want to be taken away from this article it is that you saying no isn’t the end of the world! It is well within your rights as a human being to say no whenever you wish!

It is liberating to say no! So say it! Say no!

I believe in you and your power/ability to say no!

A first generation college student trying to navigate my college years! I'm a Capricorn super passionate about social justice, feminism, and reality TV…yes, Jersey Shore is the best piece of media I have ever consumed – I'm a Film major, I can say this. All in all, looking to brighten your day with my articles! Happy Reading!
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