No is Not a Bad Word, part 1

[used via Creative Commons License by Kevin Dooley -]
Growing up southern has given me many notions about life, one of them is that saying “no” is a bad word. For southern women, it seems saying no is downright out of the question.

In my experience working with professional women (southern and otherwise), I’m finding that many of them also have trouble saying no.

Whether we’re asked to join a committee, attend an event, help an acquaintance or give our time/efforts/money, it’s rare that we feel comfortable saying no.

I’m not talking about being involved or staying busy. I’m referring to that feeling you get in your stomach after you agreed to do something you don’t really want to do.

The problem that arises when we fail to say no is we then begin to resent the situation and people we’ve said yes to (which isn’t really fair to ourselves or to them). I love what Dr. Brene Brown says about this: It’s better to feel uncomfortable in the moment [of having to say no] than it is to feel resentment for the long-term.

But why do you think that saying no is so uncomfortable for us? I believe it has something to do with the idea that our no is going to let someone down.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be all things to all people. What if we say no to something/someone and it haunts us for the rest of our life? I don’t mean to over-dramatize but I think as women, most of us have been there.

I watched a Today show segment recently about a newly coined condition currently affecting women called “fomo.” It stands for fear of missing out and apparently it’s something that is plaguing women everywhere.

Just what are we so afraid of missing? The perfect _______________ (fill in your own blank). I’m learning there is no perfect anything. And many times the energy we spend chasing the illusion of that next perfect thing keeps us from enjoying the wonderfully imperfect thing that is right in front of us. To me, that would be missing out.

So, after spending much of my life feeling like “no” is a bad word, I’m learning that it isn’t. No is simply the opposite of yes. Either is an appropriate response, depending on what you feel in your heart at that moment.

This also leads me to think about the implications that another person’s “no” can have in our lives. Stay tuned for part two where I’ll share how one person’s no had HUGE life-altering effects for me.

Kate Spears is a blogger and content marketing professional. She shares her unique southern perspective at her blog, and works with brands large and small to help them tell their stories using content marketing strategies. She calls Knoxville, TN home.

Add a Blog


  1. 960571 596284Its difficult to get knowledgeable individuals with this topic, but the truth is could be seen as do you know what you are referring to! Thanks 557269

  2. 617478 174126You produced some decent points there. I looked on the internet for that problem and discovered many people is going together with with the internet site. 832190

  3. 703509 111705Oh my goodness! an outstanding post dude. Thank you Nevertheless Im experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Do not know why Cannot register for it. Could there be any person getting identical rss difficulty? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 547409

  4. 6952 305566hello!,I genuinely like your writing very a great deal! percentage we maintain up a correspondence extra about your write-up on AOL? I require an expert on this area to unravel my difficulty. May be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you. 522884

  5. 577188 743507Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? Im kinda paranoid about losing everything Ive worked hard on. Any ideas? 911116

  6. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & assist different users like its helped me. Great job.

  7. great post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  8. Hey there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. 260033 17323I think other web site proprietors need to take this internet site as an model, very clean and superb user genial style . 779426

  10. 38671 498150Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone! 300903

  11. 519637 10859Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this website wants much more consideration. probably be once more to read a lot a lot more, thanks for that info. 265911

  12. 508616 904546Extremely properly written story. It will be valuable to anyone who usess it, including yours truly . Maintain up the excellent work – canr wait to read much more posts. 896120


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here