How Not To Say Yes When You Really Mean No

"No" is actually your bargaining chip.


Danielle Weakley |

Do you find it impossible to say no? Here at WH, we know we sometimes do. Whether it’s FOMO or people-pleasing or overachieving, the reasons for not saying no are plentiful. And they’re all different.

Say hi to Sarah Knight

And then author Sarah Knight comes along and she espouses these simple words: “No is an option.” She goes on to explain: “And it isn’t just for RSVP cards. It’s for colleagues who ask you to cover for them for the third time this week. It’s for second cousins seeking interest-free loans. It’s for bosses who want you to work too much and clients who want to pay too little. It’s for kids and dates and roommates and phone solicitors and third tequila shots.”

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Er, hands up who’s guilty of some of these! Yep, us too.

“We need to get comfortable saying no for our own health,” she says in her new book F**k No, “and the health of our relationships with family, friends, lovers, bosses, colleagues, clients, landlords, roommates, students, teachers, teammates, coaches and everyone else who needs to hear it.”

Sarah Knight on how to say no

No is a bargaining chip. Saying it can get you fewer commitments and less hassle — but it could also get you more, like a raise or a promotion. It all depends on how you wield it. I’ll give you lots of variations to bring to the table.

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Consent is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and everyone can use an extra lesson in how to give, withhold, and identify it… setting and enforcing boundaries (intimate and otherwise) and celebrate your right and privilege to do so. No is a tool for change.

No is an acceptable answer. It’s time to start using it.

So, who is Sarah Knight?

After quitting her corporate job to pursue a freelance life, Sarah moved from Brooklyn, New York, to the Dominican Republic, where she currently resides with her husband, two feral rescue cats, and, as she explains it, a truckload of lizards. Her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, has now been published in more than twenty languages. Since then, she has written several more – in a series she calls her No F**ks Given Guides. They have all been international bestsellers, including Get Your Shit Together, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for sixteen weeks. She also headed a Tedx talk, which went viral on this exact subject. We suggest you check it out stat!

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Her newest book in the line-up F**k No is about to hit the shelves. New Line Cinema has also just secured the rights to The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck and will be giving it the same glorious treatment as their most recent self-help-book-turned-box-office-super-hit What To Expect When You Are Expecting.

We recently hosted a live chat with Sarah who gave us the lowdown on how to set boundaries.

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