Anecdote, Awkward, Girls, Humor, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts

I Need to Learn How to Say No

Why is it so hard to say no?

I read an advice column a few weeks ago and the reader asked, “How do you say no to people?” The advice columnist put it very simply – just say no. However, for people like myself, it’s a lot easier said than done. And I’m not talking about drastic situations like, your best friend wants your help committing a murder. If my best friend asked me to participate in murder, I would very easily say no and then run away/go to the police.

Here’s my example from this past weekend:

I was out with my mom, aunt, and two older sisters in a small downtown area in New Hampshire. Since it was my last weekend visiting them before I leave for South Carolina, it was kind of a big blow out. My oldest sister just had a baby back in October, so she was shaking her little mom self the whole evening. My second oldest sister was handing me Jello shots while my mom and my aunt took videos of me and my sisters reenacting the rap scene from Teen Witch. We are a close-knit family, as you can tell.

I ran off to the ladies room and on my way back, my arm was tugged ever so lightly by some guy with thick-rimmed glasses. I was wearing my glasses as well (long story short – I put my contact in my eye and it just disappeared without a trace. I looked like Jessica Day all weekend). He pulled me aside and said, “Hey, you seem interesting to talk to.”

Now here’s where I tend to ruin things. In an overly sarcastic tone I asked, “Is it because I’m wearing and you’reeeee wearing glasses?” But then he started laughing and asked for my name. Our conversation was going smooth and I knew it was going to be brief. After all, I was just being polite. And if I really thought about it, this guy had some balls to just pull me aside and strike up a conversation. Bonus points for him. He will go far in life. I told him that I was out with my family because I’m moving to South Carolina. He thought that was cool and congratulated me. And then I started looking at his face and realized he seemed pretty young. Perhaps even younger than myself.

So I did what any obnoxious older woman would normally do in this situation and I asked, “How old are you anyway?”

He was twenty-two.

And then the grandma side of me kicked in and I began reminiscing my college graduation.


He was still a senior in college. I informed him that I will be twenty-six next month. He didn’t seem to give a shit. I got nervous because of the situation I was in and began spewing out advice like I’m his career counselor and he needed help on his resume. I then quickly ended the conversation and told him I needed to get back to my mother, which we both looked over and I’m fairly certain she was holding a Jello shot. But he still asked for my phone number.

Now, a few key points popped into my head at this point.

1.) I just informed him that I’m moving to South Carolina.

2.) I’m nearly four years older than him. That doesn’t seem like a lot but when I realized that he was a freshman in college while I was graduating and stressing about my student loans, it wigged me out a little.

3.) I don’t even currently live in New Hampshire, which he knew.

4.) Our conversation really wasn’t all that interesting to be honest. It felt like we were speed dating – what was your major? What do you do? Where do you live? Where did you grow up? —> How on earth can you tell if you like someone by asking these basic questions? I want someone to ask me what my favorite episode of Doug is, and if I thought Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears should have worked things out.

So I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth this guy wanted my phone number. For what purpose? I think it was pretty obvious we were never going to see each other again. I’m sure some of you are like, Oh Jess, you’re so naive. You’re right. You’re 100% right.

But I panicked and said, “Sure” and inserted my number into his phone. I had zero intention of speaking to him after our encounter. Some of you might think, Wow you’re an asshole. I wasn’t trying to be. I just don’t know how to say no. He was perfectly nice and polite.

My oldest sister yelled, “Why didn’t you give him a fake number? I did that all the time before I was married.”

“Because I’m not a jerk. How horrible would that be if you got the balls to ask a girl for her phone number only to find out that it’s not her phone number? If I were to do that, what’s the point of giving him a number at all?” I said.

“You could have said you have a boyfriend,” my mom suggested.

“I don’t think that quickly on my feet.”

Flash forward to the following night, and I received a text that my iPhone very cleverly labeled, “Maybe Cory?” It took me a second to realize it was senior-in-college-guy.


I never answered the text.

It’s so easy saying no to people who are just not very friendly, or if it’s someone asking to do something for you. Whenever a guy asks to buy me a drink, I always say, “No, thank you” unless I know them. I don’t like feeling as though I owe them something in return, if you know what I mean. I know plenty of girls who go out and get free drinks from gentlemen all night, and they have no intention of actually conversing with them after. I’d feel like a dick by doing that. I’m a working woman and I can pay for myself. Also, there’s an unspoken fear among females that we don’t want to get roofied, so shout out to guys, if you’re wondering why some girls turn down your drink offer, just know the roofie thing is like, half the reason. But if someone asks for my phone number, it sounds kind of weird saying, “No, thank you”.

In the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Turning them down from the start is the exact same thing as ignoring their messages. Sure, it might hurt their feelings, which I don’t like doing, but if I have no intention of speaking to them anyway, then it’s a web I can’t break free of. Eventually, I just have to grow a pair and say “No” so that I can stop getting messages from people I don’t want to talk to.


29 thoughts on “I Need to Learn How to Say No

  1. That gif made me laugh out loud. I know that old af feeling!

    Also, the number thing… I’ve had guys RING THE NUMBER I JUST GAVE THEM to make sure it’s my real number, and honestly I find it kind of frightening, so I usually just give them my real number and then send an awkward-penguin text being like, ‘Hey, sorry you really caught me off guard there but I’m actually seeing someone and want to see where it goes. Wouldn’t be fair to you to lead you on when I’m not really interested in anyone else right now.’ Or whatever. Or at least that’s what I used to do. Now I use ‘I have a person’ and that works well except on unrepentant assholes who seem to see it as a challenge (‘OH YEAH? THEN WHERE IS HE/SHE? SHOULDN’T THEY BE HERE WITH YOU, LIKE I AM?’ No because I don’t need a carer. I can actually maneuver my way through the world without someone at my elbow 24/7, but thanks).

    I don’t know how to say no either. It’s a problem. I think we need Just Say No classes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha that is absolutely terrifying. Good thing this guy actually waited 24 hours before contacting me. I kind of just thought of it as, “He’s still so young and is probably kind of new at this so I’ll cut him some slack.” I think my biggest piece of advice so far to guys is to stop asking to buy girls drinks in order to talk to them. Just simply talk and hope the conversation goes well and then over time, ask if they want a drink. Otherwise the first encounter is just painfully awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. commutingwithkristen says:

    The first time I tried to be a mature, big girl and reply to a random bar boy asking for my number with a simple “I’m flattered by your interest but no, I don’t want to give you my number” he lost.his.shit. and freaked out on me. It was actually very scary. So even if you do find it in you to squeak out a “No.” that might not get you far. Sorry to be so unmotivational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha it really depends on the situation so it’s hard and completely understandable if you don’t ask. I’d say if you’re having an in-depth conversation for a long period of time and you both seem to be enjoying yourselves, it doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, she might be waiting for you to ask.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If it makes you feel better, it’s not much easier for guys to say “no.” At least you had an interaction with a seemingly fairly intelligent and polite guy. I regularly get cornered by the “Howbow dah” girls. I tried the fake number thing before. Cocktail #5 caused me to retranspose the transposed numbers I tried to give. I think the text I got was an attempt at a booty call, but it was difficult to translate. Always go with the significant other excuse. It’s easy to remember and you get to have a relationship at least for a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha I laughed really hard at that last sentence 😂 I’m just usually a terrible liar if I were to say I’m in a relationship. And I get overwhelmed by the very idea that someone is asking me that I forget to lie hahah practice makes perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It might seem rude to say NO at the time, but if you know you’re eventually going to reach that point, I see it as just a faster way of getting to the same place. Life is too short to play games with people. If you grow a pair now, you’ll save yourself a lot of misery and guilt down the road. 🙂


  5. I’m so torn on what to say here. Part of me wants to say “Jess! You’re so mean for ignoring him!” But I know how awkward it can be to turn someone down in person, and how much easier if is to ignore them from behind the keys. Part of me wants to say “Jess! He likes you! What if he was he one?!” But, thats the romantic meet-cute in me – with the similar glasses bit.
    I guess what I’ll say is that I think you’ll get to a point where your desires & feelings outweigh everybody else’s. Whether it’s giving your number, or turning down a slumber party with the girls. One day you’ll just learn to say no. Try it, it’s addicting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha trust me, I felt mean doing it. I know if I ever message/text someone and I get ignored, it would really bum me out. But it really is hard to turn someone down face to face. And I really don’t think he was “the one” ahaha what would have happened if I had started a texting relationship with me? “Hey, so you’re graduating from college soon, and I’m moving to the South. Want to have a romantic long distance text relationship???” Hahah seems highly unlikely. Which was why I couldn’t understand why he wanted my number in the first place. But you’re right. One day, I’ll say no, and then I won’t be able to stop.


  6. Same thing happened to me when I was 22 ish! I couldn’t think quick then and ended up giving my number even though I didn’t want to. He texted my number right in front of me, so I avoided an awkward situation there had I given him a wrong number. A part of me thought maybe this was going to be my cool love story. That thought was immediately shattered once my friend told me she recognized him because he hit on her a month ago. I texted him mentioning it wasn’t going to work out and blocked his number so quick. A month later, he hit on another friend of mine, while I was BESIDE her! -_- He didn’t recognize me because I had my contacts on this time OR he just hits on too many girls, he cant keep track. Dodged a bullet with that one! Maaaybe you did too? It will make you feel better at least lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahah oh my god, that’s so bizarre. And extremely awkward. You definitely dodged a bullet! There’s no easy way of getting out of it unfortunately haha the awkwardness will continue!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: I Need to Learn How to Say No – UPDATE | You're Fine

  8. Jessssss ohmygod hahaha This madr me LOL I could totally picture you doing this. I think just saying “I’m sorry but I’m in the process of moving and dont think starting something knew is a good idea.” I’m assuming something like this occurred in the update, which I’m about to read

    And yeah, the roofie thing is 100%% accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

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