“It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say no to someone you love. It’s okay to say no to a friend. It’s okay to say no to a parent or child. It’s okay to say no to a job or relationship. It’s okay to say no to sexual advances. And it’s okay to say no to a person who’s romantically interested in you. Even if it hurts someone’s feelings, even if you disappoint people, even if you’re judged and ostracized — it’s okay to say no to anything and anyone that causes you pain or makes you uncomfortable. You’re allowed to put yourself first. You’re allowed to set limits and boundaries. And you deserve to make your happiness and wellbeing a priority. You don’t ever have to settle for something or someone that doesn’t feel right. And you definitely don’t have to compromise yourself for the sake of making other people happy. You have to take care of yourself, and if that means saying no, it’s more than okay.”
Something I have come to realize, largely in part from reading the book “Boundaries” by Dr. John Cloud and Henry Townsend, is that saying no is a form of respect for your boundaries. I have always remembered and carried with me the idea that we are each a beautiful house, and the gates of our house are our minds. We would not just say yes to pigs, thieves or rioters coming into our house. We must be careful who and what we let into our lives, minds and hearts. And if that means saying no, even to people we love, then like Daniell says, it’s more than okay. It’s not selfish to put yourself first and to take care of yourself before you take care of other people. It’s self-loving.