It’s A No For Me: The Art of Saying No.

Mental health has been a primarily taboo topic over the years. Fortunately, the discussions surrounding mental health in the Jamaican space have increased. It may not necessarily be where we would want it to be, but it has made some great strides into the discussions locally. One aspect of our mental health that I feel is often overlooked, though, is saying no. For this reason, I deemed it necessary to do a two-part series entitled: The Art of Saying No.

How to Say No (And Why It's an Essential Skill to Master) | Elegant Themes  Blog

Why is it important to say no?

            First and foremost, it is great for your mental health. Mastering the Art of saying no very important to have dominion over your space and life and saying no affords you that. At all times, you should be the driver in your journey. Saying yes to people when you really prefer to say no places you in the backseat. You have given up your autonomy and have now become a passenger in your own ride. Agreeing to anything that you would rather not do has so many rippled mental effects. This can lead to induced anxiety and mental exhaustion from overextending yourself to do something you would really rather not.

Establishing boundaries

            Saying no does not make you mean or a bad person. If people are offended by you saying no then they do not respect your boundaries and your relationship. Setting boundaries is a part of self-care, at least that’s what I like to think. The answer is no because I do not think I am equipped to deliver on your request, so I do not force myself to. I am saying no so I can gauge your expectations of me and our relationship, whether it be professional, romantic or platonic, going forward. I am saying no simply because I feel it is the right thing to do. If you cannot respect my no, it simply means that I need to disassociate myself from you because you are trying to manipulate my decisions and disrupt my peace of mind. 

19 Healthy Boundaries You Ought To Set In Your Relationship (+ How To)

We often overlook how fundamental saying no is to having healthy relationships, to personal development and most importantly, to our mental health. It is very important to be true to yourself and others. The seeds of trust, honesty and support are core foundation principles in any relationship. So, when I tell you no, trust me by accepting my no and giving me the benefit of the doubt that I am being honest. Be understanding and support me in my no. 

Don’t cheat yourself! Know your no and stick to it. Stay tuned for part-two of The Art of Saying No series where I share my several ways of saying no.


  1. Marion March 14, 2022 at 2:30 am

    I am learning to say no. I too believe it is a part of self-care, I wish I had started to do it earlier. I am looking forward to part 2. Thanks Terri!

  2. Tonieka Wright March 14, 2022 at 3:40 am

    It’s 11:35 pm and as I read the article about the art of saying “no” it resonates a lot. Some people think you have to give a good reason or explain oneself when the word is self explanatory… A lot of persons are afraid to say no and i myself was one but I was only hurting myself just to please others. So in other words”no” I cannot come and “no” I’m not in the position to do so..

  3. NKown March 14, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you!
    Over the years I was been control by this. I couldn’t say no, it was the hardest thing to say to someone. It had affected my mental health and the way I do things in general. The moment I started saying no my life changed. Everything was different. I could breath?I was relaxed! And I wasn’t trying to read into what other persons would say or think when I say no.

  4. Jinel Gordon March 14, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    Such an excellent article.
    Over the years, I have learnt the importance of saying NO, sticking to that NO and the benefits that have yielded from saying NO.
    As simple as the word may be, many persons often feel emotions such as shame, guilt and disappointment whenever they say this two letter word-NO. This is just because we believe that we have to please everyone. But the truth is we aren’t superheroes and we most definitely don’t have to please everyone. Self care is important and of a fact, spreading yourself thin by saying YES all the time is not healthy and self-rewarding.

  5. Jonnelle Prince March 14, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Saying no is a brave move that will mean you well in the long run! It demonstrates profoundly that you are not a people pleaser!

  6. Tamra March 14, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Saying no is important for our mental health of course. It is also important that the person we are saying it to, understands the vitality of it – extending boundaries where there should be boundaries. Protecting your inner peace and maintaining your sanity! Thanks Terri!