Last Friday, sitting at the airport, waiting to board our flight.

Lady with clipboard walks up to me and asks if she can ask me a question.

Me: “Sure.”

Lady with clipboard: “I’m from company X and we’re conducting a survey to see how satisfied people are with their flight. Would you be willing to fill out a survey after you’ve landed in Geneva?”

Me: “No.”

Lady with clipboard: “OK, have a nice day.”

Me: “Thanks, you too!”


I was about to get back to what I was doing when clipboard-lady disturbed me (sidenote: Journaling! Quite rude of her to pull me out of that.), when I noticed Arjen staring at me.

“What?” I said. (In a friendly, loving way, of course ;-))

“I was wondering how I would have responded if she’d asked me,” he answered.

“Why? Would you have said yes?” I asked him.

“No, absolutely not! But I probably wouldn’t have said that immediately. I’d have asked how long it would take first or something like that. Eventually, I would have said ‘no’. And I was thinking how much easier and better it is for everyone if you just say NO when you already know that your answer is NO.” he said.


Exactly. Why waste everyone’s time when you already know your answer is NO?

It’s perfectly fine to take your time and ask more questions to get clear on your answer, of course.

As long as you say NO after all, when that is the answer that’s true for you.


Saying NO is not just a skill you CAN learn, it’s also a skill you MUST learn.

IF you care about your happiness & fulfillment, that is.

IF you care about being true to yourself and honoring your soul.

And IF you want to express & live your truth, carve your own path and do your own thing.


If you don’t give a crap about any of that, you can continue to say YES when you actually mean NO.

But if you DO care?

You’ve got to master the art of saying NO:

To clients you don’t want to work with and projects you don’t want to do.

To whatever isn’t aligned with your deepest values and beliefs.

To what you no longer want to make space for what you choose to say YES! to.


Just say NO to WHATEVER it is you already KNOW you want to say NO to.

You owe it to yourself.

And you don’t owe anyone an explanation.


©️Brigitte van Tuijl


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