As a female Millennial entrepreneur, I’m expected to say “yes” to basically everything. This includes work opportunities, invitations to dinner and Kylie Jenner-esque coffin nails.
Somehow, I’m supposed to say yes to maintaining perfectly expensive hair, skin and nails, while having a professional career and a super active social life.
And, in the meantime, I’m also supposed to say yes to marriage, children, owning a nice home, somehow traveling the world and maintaining an up-to-date wardrobe, all before I turn 30.
No. Lately, I’ve realized saying “no” to society and actually doing whatever the f*ck I want has some pretty sweet benefits.
Here are eight reasons why it’s totally okay, and sometimes so much better, to just say no:
1. It’s easier.
In the past, I’ve said “yes” to countless bad social outings, several unacceptable boyfriends and at least one terrible job because I was under the impression it was too difficult to just say no.
But, in the long run, saying no to the things you know aren’t right for you will save you a ton of energy, and more than likely some heartbreak.
Oh, the heartache I would have saved my poor teenage self, had I known saying no would make my life far less complicated.
2. You hurt fewer people.
When we say yes just to please people, we’re lying. Say it with me: “No, I don’t like your new haircut.”
I know it may seem brutal, but if you’re letting your friend walk around with a lob that looks like something Marilyn Manson might rock, you’re not doing anybody any favors. (Unless that's what she's going for.)
I’ll never forget getting totally busted in high school when I told my friend I couldn’t hang out because I was getting my nails done with my mom.
The next day, I showed up with last week’s chipped fingertips. That lunch period was super fun. Sorry, Heather.
3. You’re free.
You're free to say “yes” to the things you actually want to say yes to. And you’re not stuck wasting time doing the things you should have said no to.
Saying no to overcommitment isn’t laziness; it’s smart strategy.
4. You waste so much less time.
Remember those guys you really didn’t want to give your number, but you did anyway because you didn’t know how to say no?
They will call. You will waste at least five minutes of your life screening the call, and texting your friend about the lame voicemail you just listened to.
You totally could have looked up, like, 10 Grumpy Cat memes during that time. Just saying.
5. You’ll have fewer regrets.
By saying “no” to coffin nails today, I will be free from looking at Facebook pictures three years from now and thinking, "WTF."
I held out during the horrible Bermuda shorts phase, and I’ll totally do it again.
6. You’ll be less stressed.
When you get really good at saying no to the things you don't want to do, life gets a little easier.
All of a sudden, you’re not waking up at 6 am to get perfect beach waves; you’re okay with walking out of the door with your naturally-perfectly-not-so-perfect hair. Slay, girl! Slay!
And saying no to those coffin nails will totally save you the stress of having an empty bank account, too. Spending $150 every two weeks for acrylic claws?
I’ll watch "KUWTK" from the living room while painting my own nails.
7. You’re not missing anything.
Seriously, as young adults in the professional world, we all experience the same feeling at a certain point.
If I don’t say yes to opportunities that come my way, I often feel like I’m missing out on something — even if it’s an opportunity I don’t really want to take.
The same feeling arises when we turn down friends for a night out.
But don’t worry; you can catch up on Snapchats of your drunk friends in the morning.
Just because you say no to something — whether it’s a night out or a job opportunity that everyone but you thinks is great — doesn’t mean you’re missing out. It means it wasn’t right for you, and you were smart enough to realize that.
8. You’ll be respected for it.
Being a yes man or woman can mean you’re training other people to expect you to say yes to whatever they ask. If you want other people to respect you, have respect for yourself.
Say no to the things you don’t want to do.
Some people won’t like it when you turn down their invitation to the club, and that’s fine. Your truest and best friends will show you respect when you opt to stay in.
And then they’ll pick up a pizza and come join you. Win-win.