Hello dahlings *Cue sultry voice for effect*, I’m no Dalai Lama (though I do love my Old Monk), and honestly, I’m far from attaining any sort of enlightenment. But today, I impart knowledge, the type that all of womankind should know! The reason I wanted to write this particular piece is that I know way too many girls, who are unhappy just because they haven’t learnt the fine art of saying ‘NO’. So here goes sisters; read, learn, enjoy, and shake that pretty head of yours horizontally more often than you do. (Pssst…You’re going to thank me later.)
When someone random, or worse, someone you don’t like sends you a Friend Request on Facebook; you’re totally allowed to say ‘No’. There’s no need to have them privy to your whole life if that’s not what you want. Besides, this one’s not actually a ‘No’, it’s more like an ‘Ignore’. Technicalities, my dear.
We know you have to put up with this person at work, but it doesn’t have to go beyond that. Just politely refuse and make up a reason for why you can’t. Now don’t act like you could never make up an excuse, because we both know that ain’t true sister.
When your room-mates make a plan to go clubbing, but you want to sit at home in your jammies and watch TV. WE GET IT. Besides, Mad Men on the laptop over hot, sweaty, college boys any day right?
In India, if you put on a few kilos, it affects your uncle’s neighbour’s tuition teacher so much naa? It’s not even funny. So the next time someone says, ‘Don’t you think you should lose weight?’, please reply saying, ‘Don’t you think you should put on *pause for effect* a brain?’ Or then just say, NO… I DON’T with the fiercest face you can manage.
Err, enough money to buy new friends. Ones that don’t ask that question.
But hey, if they are dumb enough to ask, you can and should be rude enough to answer with ‘I’d rather not say’.
When someone random wants to borrow something you don’t particularly want to share, like your ear phones (it’s unhygienic for God sakes), or your favourite (expensive) perfume; you don’t have to feel guilty to say no. They randomly asked, and you randomly refused. It’s all good.
When a co-worker cracks a lewd, sexist joke and asks you not to mind. While it’s healthy to have a sense of humour, no one in the world has a right to make you feel uncomfortable. I’m no bra burning feminist (or maybe I am), but the point remains that you don’t have to be party to ridiculous talk. So refuse. Say it isn’t funny and let the person know you can’t ‘not mind’.
When someone invites themselves to your party. AWKWARD. But if you feel that said person is just being a freeloader or that the person won’t gel with your group; please avert disaster. Don’t be shy to suggest that you can hang with the person another time if they like.
When someone asks you the price of your new shoes/bag/watch/lipstick. It’s just unnecessary and you don’t want to say. If you spent a bomb or you majorly saved by going in for a lesser known brand; it’s nobody’s business. So just say you don’t know or it was a gift. Just better alternatives to saying a blatant ‘No’. But that’s exactly what it is… a big, fat NO.
When your frenemy wants to crash over at your place after she’s too drunk to go home; you have every right to refuse. One, she’s not been the nicest to you off late. And two, you have folks/roommates to answer.
Oh my dear god, I can’t emphasise this point enough. You are NOT the Mother Teresa of the dating world. And life is no charity auction. So when someone you never viewed as date worthy asks you out on a date; please have the sense, maturity and class to say no. Don’t lead him on, don’t put yourself through awkwardness. Just refuse.
You’re on a night out with some friends and you’re not a heavy drinker or you didn’t drink at all. The bill comes, and suddenly you’re paying for flaming shots? Value yourself and your hard earned money. When asked to shell out way more than you should, you have every right to say no. There’s no shame in keeping things simple and paying for what you had. That’s how they do it abroad, so why not here?
Actually sometimes NO doesn’t suffice. *Insert your own choicest gaalis here*
That’s all for now ladies, hope you learnt something today. Please share the post if you like it! And yes, I won’t take ‘No’ for an answer ;)
Smriti Notani is a Mumbai-based writer who loves observing people, dancing on Govinda numbers, making lists, and pretending she’s Freud; in no particular order.