Say NO!

Mar 28, 2022


You are at a grocery store. A man is following you around. What do you do?

Answers are usually, “ignore”, “try to ditch the person”, “get a manager”, “look for a man nearby and stay near them”, things of that sort. Why? Why are those the responses?

We think times have changed, but I see it in young people, so clearly, that there is still a problem. When I teach self protection seminars I have the ladies practice speaking loud and strong, and saying “NO, STOP, BACK OFF.” Women 50 and over usually do not have a problem doing this (they have put up with so much crap by this time in their life they will say anything!). The younger the person the harder this is for them. They say things like, “I don’t want to seem mean”, “I am just not comfortable talking that way”, “I don’t want to hurt their feelings”.

Why is a females first response not, “why are you following me?” Women can be so mean to each other, but we often are too nice when we need to be firm. Let's take a look at why simply saying no in a strong voice is so important.

Criminals of every kind look for the easy target. They look for someone with low self esteem, and someone who will not fight. When you look someone right in the eyes, have a stern face, and strongly say “NO”, you instantly become a difficult target. When a man wants you to do something sexually that you do not want to, firmly say “No!”. When they continue to press you, strongly say, “I said NO!”, and leave! If someone approaches you in a parking lot, very loudly say “NO, stop right there”. (If it is innocent they will respect your request and state what their purpose is from a distance. But still do not let them get close). If a co worker says inappropriate things to you say “No, it is not ok to talk to me that way!”. If they touch you, yell “NO!”, and report them. Just say NO! 

This goes beyond the potentially dangerous situation. You will feel a higher level of integrity if you just say no, when you do not want to do something. For example, when you are asked out by someone nice and you do not want to go, just kindly and politely say “No”. Many young ladies will say yes, and then later make up an excuse to get out of it. Or if you are asked at church, or by a friend, to do something that you know you absolutely do not have the time for and will totally stress you out, just politely say no. By doing this for the little things, it will make it easier to do for the big ones.

I strongly believe children need to learn this and be given permission to appropriately say no, as well as firmly say it when necessary. When I teach anti- bully seminars and ask the children “what do you do if someone bullies you”, they almost always reply, “go tell a teacher”. I say “yes- that is correct, but what do you do the exact moment they bully you”. They say “go tell a teacher”. I then say “what if a teacher is not right next to you? What do you do the exact moment someone bullies you?”. They don’t know how to answer that question. I then explain to them how to say “No” in a loud strong voice, and then follow with whatever is appropriate “leave me alone, back off, etc. THEN leave and go tell the teacher.

Remember, a bully, abuser, criminal, etc., is looking for the easy target. By strongly saying NO you are showing them you are not an easy target. They may step back for a moment, then they will likely try again. That is when it is extremely important to be even louder and stronger. Make it clear you are serious.

I know this may sound silly, but it really does help to practice. You can practice at home, with or without a mirror. You can also practice with a trusted friend. Getting connected and comfortable to your strong powerful voice is a beautiful thing. When you are saying NO, you are saying, “I have confidence, I value myself and I will protect myself.” You are not only telling other people that, more importantly, you are telling yourself that! 

Be confident- Be safe,




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