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Just say no! Do you agree to do just about anything anyone ever asks of you? That's so not necessary.

Your BFF asked you to join the float committee, making a million paper tissue flowers for the Homecoming parade. Your cousin wants to borrow that new dress you saved up for ... and you haven't even worn it yet! The field hockey coach thinks you can go varsity--but you'd have to give up the fall musical. All too much? Learn to say "no" like a pro.


Often when someone is asked for something, the automatic response is an aim to please. Next time, don't be caught off guard. Instead of letting an instant "yes" slip from your rips, simply say, "I'll have to let you know tomorrow."

This buys you some time to ask yourself, "Is this really something I want to do?" If not, that's your choice and it's perfectly OK to say, "No way!"


So now you have to break the news that you're just not interested. This is best done in person. Sure, it's tempting to shoot off an IM, e-mail or text, but that's kind of a cop-out. A face-to-face says, "I'm not rejecting you personally; I'm just saying 'no' to the situation."


Your first instinct might be to roll off a list of reasons, thinking it will make your position more convincing. Truth is, rambling on actually weakens your stance. It opens you up to questioning and judgment. When you tell your BFF you're not up for float committee, no need to frantically rattle, "I have a history project due, two book reports and a feature deadline for the school newspaper."

She might counter with, "Oh, that history thing isn't important! And isn't your newspaper deadline weeks away?" So instead just say, "I know this is important to you, but I need to focus on classes fight now," and leave it at that.


You may think it's fine to bend the truth to make your alibi airtight. But you run the risk of losing people's trust. Remember, you're saying "no" to minimize your stress, not add to it by weaving a web of lies you'll have to cover up.

Your cousin wants to borrow your brand-new BCBG number you babysat all summer to afford? Instead of, "Um, it's at the tailor being altered," tell her, "Sorry, but I never lend out my brand-new clothes. That's my policy, and I'm sticking to it!" Sure, she's your girl but--hello!--that's your dress.


"No" is a negative word, and there's no way around it. So wrap up your conversation on a positive note. Not wilting to give up a part in the play to join varsity? Suggest that the coach take a closer look at Chelsea, that sophomore girl you know is just dying to make the cut. Tell your cousin she can borrow your fanciest necklace instead of the dress. By doing this, people remember what you are willing to do, not what you aren't.

Saying no might be hard to do at first but, with time and practice, it'll become second nature. No need to decline everything, but save your yesses for things you feel comfortable with and actually want to do. And never forget that "no" is not a sign of weakness. It shows that you have a strong grip on what's best for you.
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Title Annotation:GL LIFE
Author:O'Connell, Patricia
Publication:Girls' Life
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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