10 Times You Should Definitely Say ‘No’ And Do Your Own Thing

There are a number of silly, destructive and persistent social norms or status quos that say we should put up with a lot of things that we really shouldn’t put up with. Under the guise that “life is hard,” people often want you to just buck up and be happy, when, really, you should change the things that aren’t making you happy.

Saying “no” can be really hard if you’re a go-getter or you don’t like giving up, but here are 10 times you should say “no” and do your own thing. Because that silly cliche about putting you first is actually something you should put up with.

1. Say “No” To Friends Who Bring You Down

You shouldn’t have to put up with friends who make you doubt yourself or are always giving you backhanded compliments. Sure, it’s great to have that friend who will help put things into perspective, but it’s another thing entirely to have a friend who consistently makes you feel bad about yourself or your goals. Cut those people out of your life, even though it won’t be easy.


2. Say “No” To A Doing Things Without A Reason

Do you hate that book club that all of your friends attend, but you go just because all of your friends do? Stop going! Life is short, so you should spend your time doing things that you love—not things that you feel obligated to do.

3. Say “No” To Any Job That Doesn’t Fulfill You

If you dread going into work every morning, then it’s time to look for a new job. You should be excited about what you do, and it should give you some sense of fulfillment at the end of the day.


4. Say “No” To Overworking Yourself

Yes, sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But try to stick to eight or nine hours of work, a few hours of family time and a few hours of alone time each day. You shouldn’t skip out on seeing your favorite show or going to the gym so that you can get more done at work. Try to keep your life balanced.
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5. Say “No” To Meeting Other People’s Expectations

If you’re a grown man or woman, then your parents don’t have too much of a say in your life anymore. Don’t make them feel like your goals aren’t enough if they’re fulfilling and challenging for you. Thank them for their input, and then go on your merry way.

6. Say “No” To Trying To Control Everything

Accept the things you can’t control. Even if your friends want to feed your “What ifs,” just step back and ask yourself if what you’re overanalyzing is actually in your control.

7. Say “No” To A Relationship That Isn’t Working

If things haven’t changed with your significant other, then walk away. You don’t have to say goodbye forever, but you might just need some time to yourself. The same thing goes for toxic friendships. If it’s not working, maybe give that friend some space to figure things out on their end. Then, in a month or two, give them a ring and see how things are going. But don’t be afraid to completely cut someone out of your life if you feel like you’re putting in more effort than you’re getting in return.

8. Say “No” To Crazy Diets

Don’t go on a juice cleanse for a week just because all your friends are doing it. Or don’t give up bread for that reason either. Every health study out there says that all the things you love are probably fine for your body in moderation. 


9. Say “No” To Judgement

Obviously you shouldn’t judge other people, but, less obviously, try to avoid judging yourself. Life is hard, and when you’re feeling really sad about a recent breakup or a mishap at work, try to just feel whatever you’re feeling. Try not to judge the feelings, and if you feel yourself going down that road, go for a walk, or distract yourself for a little bit.

10. Say “No” To Hate And Negativity

Try to process things you feel bitter about and move on. Don’t hold grudges—against yourself or others. Understand that everyone makes mistakes, and love yourself after each mistake you make, because mistakes are what make you better in the long run.


Photo by sboneham


About the Author
Josephine Yurcaba
Josephine Yurcaba is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. She specializes in lifestyle content, women's issues, politics, and New York music. She has written for Bustle, The Daily Meal, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone.

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