Why Yes, Is Not Always Best


Lots of people have trouble with saying no. It carries with it the connotation of negativity, obstruction and disappointment. People much prefer to say yes. I know that you and your kind really do struggle with saying no. You prefer to be regarded as a can-do kind of person, positive and accommodating. You also find it difficult to say no to people as you really do not like to see the disappointment on their face should you respond in this way. It makes you feel bad and accordingly, you either avoid saying it in the first place or you change your mind if you have said it. Occasionally, you will take refuge in the realm of uncertainty.

“I will think about it.”

“We shall see.”

“Let me reflect and I will come back to you.”

“I just need to check something, but I think it should be okay.”

You want to say no, but you find that you are unable to and therefore you trot out one of these insipid responses and ultimately you will end up saying yes. We know this is a common trait of yours and something we rely on and play on. We are aware that you do not like to say no and therefore we will press and cajole to ensure you say yes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we need your validation and approval. Far from it. We do what we want. We like to hear you say yes because it underlines our power over you. We can always make you say yes. Sometimes you do it straight away (especially if we have you conditioned correctly). On other occasions it requires some persuasion and in the remainder of cases we need to pull out our manipulative tool kit to achieve the desired result, but we always get there. You are designed to say yes, we programme you to say yes and you do so even if it is ultimately detrimental to you. You feel you need to please and that need is greatest when it comes to us.

By contrast we are firm disciples of the word “no”. It is a word of strength. It is commanding and authoritative. Those who can say no have fortitude, steel and resilience. We say it regularly. We are untroubled by the fallen expression, the noises of disappointment and pleading. In fact, should you beg and plead we will just keep saying no and sit back and enjoy the fuel that you provide to us by your behaviour. Beseech us, blackmail us, bribe us and bombard us with requests, nay, demands to say yes and every time we will bat you back with a firm no as we savour your increasing anger, frustration and upset.

We do not associate the word no with negativity. We see it as a positive word. It is one that enables us to assert and maintain our superiority. We are able to use it to control you and keep you in your place. We are fully aware that whoever is on the receiving end of the word no automatically feels bad because they have been denied something.

“No I do not want to have dinner with you tonight.”

“No, you cannot borrow my car this evening.”

“No, you cannot go out with your friends tomorrow evening.”

It takes guts and integrity to say no. You struggle to say it because you are used to being exploited and taken for granted. You may try and dress it up as being someone who always helps and is a facilitator but the reality is you end up being used. Notice how in those instances above where I stated no, I did not give a reason for the refusal, I just said no. That takes real strength. I do not need to fall into providing explanations for my decision. It is my decision, the answer is no, that is an end to it. I can do this because I am not accountable. I can do this because I do not feel bad when witnessing the disappointment of others. This enables me to achieve more and avoid being burdened unnecessarily.

You can learn a lot from my use of the word no. Just do not think of ever using it towards me. That’s a big no.


17 thoughts on “Why Yes, Is Not Always Best

  1. NarcAngel says:

    There could be a whole other article on just the word sorry. If you find yourself apologizing and saying sorry a lot (not just in an intimate relationship but with others). I see that as a red flag and a need to look inward at why.

  2. Sweetest Perfection says:

    I don’t have a problem saying no, but I often feel like saying yes I said yes I will yes. I need to work on not wanting to say yes.

  3. Kellie Mccoey says:

    I have no trouble saying no what so ever, sticking to it is the problem.

  4. Ema says:

    I’m slowly learning to say No. I realized I have always been an “yes” person in my intimate relationships (especially with the N), because of my fear of abandonment or rejection. And this dates back to my childhood and the relationship with my mother who often used phrases like “If you don’t do that, I will not love you”, ” You’re bad, because you didn’t do it, I will leave you and adopt some poor orphan who will be better and will listen to me more”.
    So I grew up with this distorted fear that if I say no to someone I love/ have interest in/care for, he/she will withdraw and go to someone else who will say yes.
    Recently I started practicing saying “No”, whenever I feel like not being into doing something.
    I didn’t get very good results, men for example get annoyed and withdraw, but I didn’t feel bad about that, because that is their own issue since they can’t deal with a simple “No, I can’t see you today because I’ve made some other plans”. Well, I will not be constantly available and I have my own personal life and freedom and if you can’t deal with that, you’re not a good match for me.
    It’s difficult to break the pattern, but not being able to say “No” because of the intense fear and anxiety, sooner or later will make a doormat out of us.

  5. sighofrelieff says:


  6. sighofrelieff says:

    Yes JG that sounds right. I do find however that I am good at saying no.

  7. Marina says:

    H.G. You are the Hannibal Lecter to all of the Clarisse Starlings out there looking for answers! Well, I mean without the cannibalism.

    1. Sweetest Perfection says:

      Marina, I told my friends I feel like Jodie Foster using this blog for answers …

  8. WiserNow says:

    “It takes guts and integrity to say no.” Yes, it does. It also takes guts and integrity to listen to someone when they tell you “no” politely and respectfully the first time and to take their wishes seriously. Narcissists don’t have that level of guts and integrity (i.e. real power) even though in their minds they think they do.

    A narcissist will make it so that saying “yes” is easier in the long run, just so that there is peace and life can go on more smoothly and productively. They will badger and insist, smother you with attention, dole out pity plays, guilt trips, silent treatments, stonewalls, or smear campaigns. They will manipulate either openly with insistent persuasion, criticism or insults, or subtly with insinuated offence and sulking. They will find ways to make you feel guilty, worried, or even fearful of the consequences of saying no.

    You might have started off saying “no” with the guts and integrity to back it up. But you learn that saying “yes” is going to be the easier, safer, quicker option. Eventually, saying “yes” becomes a habit learned as a result of lessons forced on you through frustration, guilt, anger and disappointment. If you stay with a narc, there is no choice.

    1. 2SF says:

      Absolutely right Wiser Now!

  9. J.G says:

    Sorry, correction, always.

  10. J.G says:

    Conclusion, they say No, to get it:

    1) Negative fuel. for frustration, disappointment and failure.
    2) Control
    3) Superiority. and dominance.
    4) They avoid overburdening themselves with responsibilities and obligations towards the other party who cares little about them.
    It is good to know the implications of the “no” of narcissists. And what they get out of it.
    I suppose that a No to them, would imply a criticism and more if you do not give them explanations Fury too… Temper tantrum.
    You narcissists are so Sadistic sometimes…

  11. Kelly says:


  12. mommypino says:

    “You can learn a lot from my use of the word no. Just do not think of ever using it towards me. That’s a big no.”

    Ba ha ha! Seriously though, a great article. It has always been hard for me to say no when someone acts like he or she really depends on me and I’m the only person who can help or deliver. This needs to be in my resolution as well. Everything will be ok if I say no; other people can do it and it will be totally fine. My comments here have been making me think about my life and where I want it to go. I now want to ditch the artificial people and artificial relationships in my life. And that would have to start by saying no.

    I love the part where you said that you don’t explain the reason when you say no. That really shows a lot of strength and that’s how it should be. That is one of the narcissistic traits that can do empaths a lot of good. Thank you so much for this amazing article.

  13. J.G says:

    Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    There are many Not in my life. But one in particular that stole my soul.
    On the other hand I only knew how to say YES.
    And it is that we do not learn, we say yes to whom we do not owe and we say no to the people who deserve it that yes really.
    It is a pure contradiction….
    It’s like living inside a mirror.

    1. sighofrelieff says:


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