The word “No.” Such a simple word. Two little letters that organically fall back to back in the alphabet. Could it be more perfect? No.

Yet, as a society the word “no” is feared, dreaded, and makes people angry. Want to stir up a whole mess of emotions? Just tell someone “no.” And because we have such a strong, visceral reaction to the word “no” many times we do anything not to use it. We create excuses like “maybe” or “let me think about it.” The answer is “no,” but we fear to say it - “no.”

Why? Doesn’t that just seem silly?

Well, the word “no” plays into our biology and psychology. It plays into our biology because if we piss people off we may get pushed out of the tribe and then die. And the word “no” plays into our psychology because “good girls” are accommodating, giving, caring, concerned, hospitable, kind, loving, and any other goodie two shoes adjective you want to add - and the word “no” goes against all of that.

Yes, the word “no” strikes fear in the hearts of everyone. And that is why it is a perfect word just as is - “no.” No excuses, add-ons, or apologies - just “no.” Clean, clear, concise, simple, and powerful.

So the next time the answer is “no.” Then just say “no.”

And if you secretly fear the word “no” then add it into all areas of your life. Say “no” to yourself, write the word “no.” Substitute all of those soft, politically correct versions of saying “no” for the simple, true, authentic, and direct version - “N.O.”

Once you get use to seeing the word “no,” saying the word “no,” and be comfortable in the commanding silence the word “no” can bring, you will begin to love the word “no.”