Foreign Language 101

Nem. Neh. Hapana. Non. Tidek. Nein. Dili. Nie. Yox. Babu.

That last one is my personal favorite. It has a certain ring to it. Babu...

All of the words listed above are way that other people in other countries that speak other languages say "no." There are also a lot of countries that say no just like we do.

No. Sweet, simple and right to the point.

I have developed my own personal arsenal of answers for the negative when people decide to feel free to ask me for things that I don't want to give, or to do things that I don't particularly wanna do.

No. Nah. Nope. Not neva.

Those are just a few. I have loads of them. Sometimes they're laced with obscenities. I usually save those for the Starter Husband though. Most times, though, they're silent. Especially if I have to repeat myself. I HATE that. My kids get that deadly calm before the story-type situation often. They think that, if they ask me for something enough times, I will give it to them just to get them to stop talking.

It hasn't worked so far and I don't see it working in the future either.

Let me just go ahead and make this known, just in case you have never heard it before:

It is perfectly okay for you to say no.

Oh. My. God. Did she just say that??? I did.

There is nothing wrong with telling people no. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first. There is nothing wrong with it because choosing to say no is choosing peace and tranquility for your mind and your life.

People will take. That's what people do. And even more than taking, people take without giving in return. There's a reason that the phrase "It's better to give than to receive" is quarantined to Christmas time. Because people can't take it for the rest of the year.

The fact that people take isn't even the issue here. The problem is that they will take and take and take and take until you have nothing left to give. And when you're on empty, who's gonna fill you? You need to be actively responsible for your own tank.

Cars run on gas, right? You fill them up and they run for as long as you drive them. But, eventually, you're gonna need to fill them up again, or you won't be able to drive them. They only operate if you keep gas in the tank and you keep up the maintenance. If you don't give it to your car, it won't run.

Same goes for you.

Yes. Most things in your life need your attention. But, if you give it all away, what will be left for you?


It's okay to selfish. There is currently a #selfcare revolution going on in the world. Books, conferences, online classes, email blasts. People are getting tired of being used up. Don't get me wrong. It's not always malicious intent. The people in your life love you and aren't trying to use you. But just because they aren't trying to doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Now, let me warn you. When you decide to start saying no, there will be some people that get mad. “You’re so selfish! How can you just say no like that? I need you! What am I gonna do????” You might feel bad a thing first. You might even change your mind about helping. But just understand, this is how ”they” feel, but honestly, that’s not our concern. You have to care about you.

You get to be tired. You get to be frustrated. You get to be weak. You get to be lazy. You've been driven a lot of miles, and it's time for you to set aside some time that's just for you and what you want to do. Get that nap. See that movie. Go on that getaway. Go to that restaurant. Get that haircut. Get that pedicure.

And if someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, go somewhere you don't want to go, or talk when you don't feel like talking, take it from our family in the Nigerian and Niger regions of the beautiful continent of Africa...



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