“No” is not a four-letter word

Her voice carries in the hallway as she greets her adoring fans.  The closer it gets, the louder it gets; and the hair on the back of your neck stands at attention.   She’s coming to your office and you know exactly what she wants.  Unable to dash out for fear of being seen, you hide under your desk, hoping she will keep going if she doesn’t see you sitting there.

And then a figure fills your doorway and casts a shadow across the floor.  It’s Stacy, your coworker!  You squeeze your eyes shut, as if by doing so she will become temporarily blind, and hold your breath.  It seems like an eternity before she mutters an expletive and walks away.  Gasping for air, you crawl out from under your desk, as again you hear her voice in the hallway; only this time it’s getting farther and farther away.

You and Stacy used to be friends, but now just the thought of her makes you cringe.   Barely a day goes by without her needing another “favor.”  At first you were happy to help, but now it has gotten out of hand.  She just won’t stop asking!

Well guess what?  You’re right!  She won’t stop asking as long as you keep giving in.  It’s up to you to stand up for yourself and let her know that she’s asking for more than want to give.

Whether it’s time, money, clothing or other items, you have to take a stance.  It’s easy to say no to a stranger on the street, but when it comes to someone you care about, saying no can be kinda hard.  After all, you’ve invested time and feelings into the relationship, and their opinion of you matters, right?

Then don’t let them get the wrong opinion.  You’re not a pushover, a door mat or a puppet on a string.  You’re someone who has a right to your time and your things as much as they do.  Show them that you have a life, and it doesn’t include being at their beck and call 24/7.  Sure, you can help them out sometimes if you want to, but if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t feel obligated.

At first it will feel awkward when you say “no” after saying “yes” for so long.  You might have the urge to say “Wait!  I take that back.  I’ll do it.”

Resist the urge.  Don’t give in.

You’ll see, in time it will get easier to say “no”, and you will feel better for having done it.  In some instances it will take a few times of you saying “no” before it sinks in, but eventually your friend will learn to respect your boundaries and you will learn to respect yourself.

So whether it’s your coworker requesting another favor, or your sister wanting to borrow some cash, rather than ruin a relationship, speak up!  Saying “no” once in a while can feel good…

Ketima Signature B

Thank you for taking a glimpse of the world through my eyes.  Enjoy the scenery!



About Ketima Whitehall

Ketima Whitehall is the nom de plume of accountant and CTA Certified Life Coach Robin D. Aiken, a Silver Spring, Maryland native and Morgan State University alumna. In April, 2014 Ketima published her first fictional novel, Smoke and Mirrors - The Secret Life of a Cheater, which was loosely based on her personal experience with infidelity. After turning her relationship around, Ketima made it her goal to help as many people as possible avoid or overcome infidelity and find fulfillment in their romantic love relationships.
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