Just say NO! That's a famous 80's catchphrase about staying off drugs, but it is also one of the truest and most life-affirming mantras that many of us have come to appreciate. Saying no, putting one's well-being first, have become the new narrative for a society that was always over-extending itself. Sometimes you just have to decline an offer or decide that, no, this situation isn't healthy for me. And then the freedom you feel... there is nothing else like it.

Redditor u/SketchyByte wanted everyone to share the times in life they have never felt better by asking... What is the most satisfying "no" that you have ever said?

"Just try..."

Go ahead, try it. NO! I love it. I can't tell you how many times I gave a yes out of fear, guilt, or shame. Then later all I had to ruminate on was regret. I don't enjoy the NO at the expense of others, but more often than not, I just have to recognize what a certain moment calls for and embrace it. I think the following people can explain.

Sorry Boo

let's go courtroom GIFGiphy

I got offered a lot of money to basically screw someone over in a court case. I said no and the satisfaction of telling a seriously spoiled rich kids dad no was the most satisfying day in recent memory.


Humans Suck

I work in an Animal Shelter. We had this very scared Cane Corso mix named Tae, who had the perfect look for the worst kind of dog owner: cropped ears and tail, muscular, beautiful grey coat. Tae needed a special low traffic home without any kids because he was very nervous and uncertain, likely due to his past, and we wrote an entire profile explaining this. A guy waltzes in, slams money on the table, and announces he's taking Tae (without ever meeting him, mind you.)

After finding out he had a three year old at home, I told him that wasn't an ideal situation for Tae and that we wanted to think about what was best for the dog. He gets nasty and says it's fine because Tae is going to be chained up outside. I was so satisfied to tell him we won't be adopting anything to him, as it is stated in our contract our dogs must be indoor pets.

No, he didn't like that.


Mother's House

Honestly, it would have to have been splitting up with my ex. He was at his mother's house at the time, and he said he missed me. I stared at the message for so long he sent another, "this is supposed to be where you say you miss me too." But i didn't miss him. Or walking on eggshells around him, having zero help with our newborn child, having so much trouble. So I said but I don't miss you. Easily the best no I've said, I only wish I had said it sooner.


"No, I'd prefer not."

Religious in-laws. Lots of holiday meals, they always stop before eating to Give a Blessing, taking turns, FIL assigns the leader of the prayer. For whatever reason, they do not single me out, and I certainly do not volunteer. FIL has a tendency to put people on the spot when he wants something done. After a decade, I assume it'll never happen.


Thanksgiving. About to eat, FIL turns to me "Will you lead the blessing." (note lack of question mark.)

"No, I'd prefer not." It came out of my mouth before I really thought about it, but it was the right answer. FIL looking at me like I just sprouted a new head. I repeat, very politely. "No, I'm sorry, I'd rather not." and that was it, the obligation was passed to one of my BILs.

I mean, I respect their faith, but I don't share it. The only meal blessing I know is the Grace* learned as a catholic kid, (took me a long time to understand the actual words) said at speed, which if I'd used that would have been mocking. And I'm not about to thank a heavenly father I don't believe in. I'll bow my head in silence, but this is not my faith, not my prayers.

My husband managed to stop himself from laughing, to his credit.

*blessesolord, antheezigfs, whicheeraboutoreceev, fromeyebuntytokrice, hourlower, AMEN.




Not exactly a no, but declining my ex-wife's friend request on Facebook felt pretty satisfying.


"Not Today"

See they get it. Are you envious enough yet to try it? Go ahead. NO. I'll wait. It can also be a silent NO. Just today this rude young lad tried to cut me off in the line at Target. Back in the day, I'd let that go. I'd wonder if it was worth the argument? What's the big deal? Then I said... NO. You do not get to treat me this way. So I informed him where the line began, and stretched to, so he could march his happy backside yon. Read on...

Rent Some Guys

Animated GIFGiphy

"so i see you have a truck"

"no... i will NOT help you move...."

"well damn."




I said 'no' to a crappy job offer. They asked me if I was working already and I said I was unemployed but I wouldn't work for their company anyway.


There's one account that I won't accept projects on because of the way they abuse their vendors. I think my exact words were, "I'd rather eat cat food."


Dodged a Bullet

I got fired because the company panicked during covid and decided to fire me and another guy, they were genuine a-holes that didn't care about their employees. I could go into details but it would take way too long, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

A few weeks later they call me back and asked me to join as they now realized that they actually needed me, he was almost certain that I would say yes.

I straight up told him "no". He sounded sooo disappointed and shocked.

Now nearly a year later the company is going under, everybody left because they hated the boss, and I can't say I feel sorry for them.


Peace Out

Overworked at an underpaying job in a warehouse. 14 hr days. 9 bucks an hour in a 15 degree industrial freezer. 2 15 minute breaks. They hassle you for taking a crap in between. I felt sick that day and boss man comes up to me with ANOTHER stack of orders after we were already doing the biggest one that day. Says "Hey I need you back in the freezer and i need you to pick up the pace a little bit" I just said "no" and walked the hell out. Hitchhiked home. Sun was shining. Dude that picked me up was playing Radiohead. Twas magical as hell.



Good Bye Reaction GIFGiphy

After cheating on me, during our break up conversation, she said, "I wish you would have fought for me instead of giving up so easily.."

I said, "maybe if you were worth it."


Keep Your Job

I applied for a job, got it, was shown around the workplace, they explained how things worked etc. The day before I was to start they called me and said the guy changed his mind and was going to stay. A few weeks later they called me again and said the guy quit and I can now have the job. No.


The Voice

I used to work in an IT support call center. I eventually moved to a new job within the same company, but no longer doing support. Every time someone emailed me because I helped them previously, I really enjoyed telling them that I could no longer help them and they had to call the help desk. I love not having to use my "customer service voice" any more.


Bye Bye Bye

Get Out Theatre GIF by Tony AwardsGiphy

I had an ex send me a text months after we had a horrible and frustrating break up. It just said "I love you." I did the same thing where I stared at it for a long time. He had tried everything to get me back and I was just so over it, so I replied "I don't care." That finally got him to leave me alone.


Not Worth It

I did this to my boss at my last review. I didn't get a raise and was told I had to do three certain things to be considered for a raise.

Boss: You do these three things and you'll get a raise. Are you interested?

Me: No

Boss: So, you're just happy where you are?

Me: Yep

Boss- That's disappointing.

To clarify he couldn't guarantee a raise amount and he has no real control over how much I make. If I did those three things the company could have said "here's your raise enjoy this quarter". If they even gave me a raise. An unspecified raise isn't worth all the extra work they wanted.



A cheating and manipulating ex asked me to connect via FB to 'just talk.' According to his opinion the time that had passed from when I found out he is a back boneless cheater until that day was long enough to be 'friends.' I said NO... And lived happily ever after!


Risk Factor

I was made redundant from my old job before Christmas due to COVID and I'd been wrestling with it for a while as I hated the job for years.

In the redundancy meeting they said I'd need to do a load more work and be limited to 3 days a week and I just said no, I'll take the redundancy. Risky move but I had 2 months notice to work through and I figured I could get a job in time.

After the meeting I saw I has a missed call from a job wanting me to start in 2 months as a day rate contractor and that is now coming to an end. I was offered a new permanent position at a 33% salary bump than the job I was made redundant from. Risky, but worked out.


Fur baby first...

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When I was given an ultimatum in my first relationship:

She said, "Either you give up your cat (my furry buddy), or I won't move in with you."

(She wasn't allergic to cats - she just didn't like them.)

So when asked, "Is your cat going?" I said, "No . . . you are!"



When I finally grew a pair and told my "ex" (if you can even call it that because that was clearly NOT a relationship) to hell off. I stopped giving in and believing any bull that came out of my ex's mouth, sent my final text and BLOCKED. That thing even had the nerve to call me from a landline but I was smart enough to immediately hang up. There was a voicemail but my old phone got stolen, and I never ended up listening to it. Thank God.


Tired but Free

A couple years after I bought my car, the dealership called me in to discuss some sort of deal involving my financing. For two hours, they tried to convince me to trade in my car for a newer model before I realized that I could just ask for my damn keys back and get the hell out of there. At that moment, I felt both exhausted and liberated.



Went shopping for rings with my then fiancé (been married for 16 years now) and when we walked into the jewelry store my ex girlfriend was at the sales counter. We ended up finding some rings there that we really liked, but they had to order some more because they only had the floor model. When I went to pick them up a week later, my ex wanted to know if I would take her back.

I was polite, but said that I was happy with my new relationship and that we really were getting married. I'll never forget the look on her face as I tried on my ring. Guess she shouldn't have cheated on me when we were together.


Stay Back

Schitts Creek Eww GIF by CBCGiphy

When the guy I had a crush on dumped me and made me feel like crap eventually came back to me asking me to hang out and I said NOPE.



NO is not a curse word, nor is it hate speech. Some may see it that way but as you have read... NO... is an imperative part of life. Take it from my experience, you don't have to be a yes man in order to be a good person, or solidify relationships. People will understand, and if they don't, then they aren't introducing the NO in their lives nearly enough.


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