Learn how to say “NO”

Learn how to say “NO”

Learn how to say “NO” 1200 400 Galia Brener

It’s 9am on a Saturday morning, and your grandmother just called because she wants you to help her pick out that “ever-so-trendy-grandma-purple-hair-dye”. Two hours later your best friend calls because her boyfriend cheated on her with his childhood friend George. You meet her in the city for emergency cheesecake and sparkling wine. Five hours later you leave her happily drunk at home and finally have the chance to pick up your dry cleaning. But of course, the store is closed already. You rush home to change because in an hour you have a date with a man you have been looking forward to see for days now. You put your favorite outfit on, hoping that this guy will be a good one. You hear the doorbell ring. After an hour into the date, you notice how much he is in love with himself and your excitement disappears. You make up an excuse that you have to finish helping the technicians at NASA early the next morning, and you run out of there. You finally arrive at home and drop into bed. What a tiring day after such a stressful week!


The next morning your mother calls. Then your brother calls and asks to pick him up because his car broke down, again! Your landlord calls, no hot water for half a day! Your toaster burns the last slice of bread you have. You remember that you didn’t finish a part of your presentation for your meeting on Monday. You think it will take an hour to finish, and 5 hours later, it’s evening again. Where did “your” weekend go? You are left with 2 hours on a Sunday evening before the stress week starts again. STOP. It’s time to regain your control and make “Me-Time”.


One does not live forever. More than a third of the day is spent working. The remaining part is spent sleeping, eating, making love, going out or doing stuff for/with people that you do not always want to do. So how much time is there leftover for you? You grew up hearing that you must help others and not be selfish. Help when you can, but there is a time when you have to say “No” to the things that you don’t really want to do. In the beginning people might get angry with you. However, you need to make time for yourself, and do the things that relax and make you happy. Your “real” friends and family will understand and even respect you for that.


Do not spend all of your time and energy on your partner. Do not depend on him/her for true happiness. This has to come from within yourself. Your partner is a bonus in your life, and not the meaning of your life. Get rid of those expectations that as soon as you have a new love, you will be happier and more satisfied. If not met, expectation can hurt and devastate you. Sure, having a partner will bring new excitement into your life, but never make the mistake to rely solely on your partner to make you happy. Your partner is not Mother Theresa, and it’s not their job to turn your life into a fairytale. However, if you really want to, you can do this for yourself.


Get a hobby. You enjoy eating? Take a cooking course. You like art? Try painting. You like words and can get lost in them? Then take a pen and write something down. Make a date with yourself to do something that you love, which brings peace and happiness to your heart and soul. You like to stay fit? Go to the gym or try yoga. I love it. It makes me stronger, more confident and happier. You like fashion? Take a Sunday design course. You want to upgrade your education? Take a weekend or evening course. Do what makes you happy. Be selfish! It’s your life, and you have only this one to enjoy now! Whatever you do, take the time out for yourself and take care of yourself. Especially us women, we tend to nurture everyone else and often forget ourselves in the process.


In my opinion, the most important relationship that you have to work on and make strong is the one with yourself. Be strong, loving and caring towards yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to others when you don’t want something. Every minute that you spend doing something against your will, is a minute of your life that is wasted and gone. It’s an unbelievable feeling of liberation to be able to say “NO”. In my experience, it also contributed to making me stronger and self-assured. Deep inside we know exactly what we want and don’t want, so be true to yourself and express that in a nice but firm way. Try it out and have fun saying: NO! – The reactions are funny.




Photo by: Antonio Photographer. Tbilisi, Georgia


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