Hard Pass: Things to Start Saying NO to

It’s easy to stretch yourself too thin. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing the right thing when you’re always agreeing to do things for others. Those things can add up quick. Saying “yes” to too much at once becomes overwhelming and it’s likely that people are going to take advantage of your kindness (if they already aren’t).

Is it wonderful to do things for others? Of course it is. But, there has to be a line. 

I decided to write about this because I see people doing this everyday and I used to be one of them. At one point, I almost went into serious debt to help out a friend. I recall every conversation with this person being one-sided. Never once did this person care about what was happening in my life or even take a moment to ask how I was doing. Every single conversation ended with this person wanting or expecting something from me. It took a long time for me to put up clear boundaries regarding that relationship.

And you know what? Since I started saying “no” more, (to certain things), my anxiety has lessened extremely and I’m a lot happier. “No” is actually a damn good word to use in lots of situations. Always be kind when you can. Help people when you can but for the sake of your own well-being, it’s paramount to take care of YOU before stretching yourself too thin.

Here are some things we should start saying “No” to for a better, happier and more productive 2019:

Bad Friends, Bad Relationships & Toxic People

If someone isn’t good to you, it’s not helping one damn bit to be good to them. It may sound harsh, but there are a lot of shitty people out there. I’m not saying be cruel or be “bad” back towards them. I’m saying don’t let people remain in your life who are toxic, treat you poorly or have a one-sided relationship with you, (meaning that every single thing is all about them).

Maybe they always need something.

Maybe they’re a serial complainer. (These people will suck the joy out of your life quickly. Negative people constantly complain about every little thing and there’s no reason to keep engaging with them.)

Maybe they just always end up getting you in uncomfortable situations.

Whatever the case may be, there’s absolutely no reason to keep people in your life who treat you poorly.

Start saying “no” to these types of people. They serve no purpose in our lives other than to bring us down. TRUST ME, it’s not you, it’s them. To all the “one-sided relationships” in your life: give them a hard pass. Set boundaries and if those boundaries can’t be honored, well, it’s sadly time to distance yourself from them.

Shit Talking

Okay, we’re all going always probably do some type of shit talking. I hate to sound like a mom here, but “if you don’t have something nice to say, just don’t say anything.”

Seriously, who cares what someone else is doing? If it’s not directly impacting you, don’t worry about it. This goes back to the “comparison game” I always talk about. Don’t worry about what so-and-so from way back when posts on Facebook. Let that shit go. It’s just negativity – say NO to it.

The same goes for other people. If someone is a serial gosspier, avoid them. They’re likely doing the same when you’re not around anyhow.

Poor Entertainment

Via Giphy

I really need to take my own advice on this one! Just because you pick up a book, doesn’t mean you have to finish it! If it’s a bad book, put it down. (So far, I have been physically incapable of doing this but dammit, I’m going to start!)

If you’re watching something and it sucks – turn it off. Don’t settle for poor entertainment of any form. If you don’t like it and you’re not getting anything positive from it – give it a “hard pass.”

Lending Money over and over again

Via Giphy

You’re not a bank. If there is someone in your life, (yes this counts for family too), stop lending them money. As adults, we all need to be responsible for our own bank accounts.

*This does not include helping someone out in a crisis if you can. I’m talking about the “takers” who do nothing but keep coming back for more. Say no!

Impulse Purchases

This is another area I struggle with. Just because something is on a lightening deal on Amazon, doesn’t mean I need it. Say “No” to impulse purchases. Ask yourself if you really need it before you buy. Is it something that you’ll actually use? Something that will make you happy?

Some “impulse purchases” are okay but when it becomes a habit, it can hurt your bank account – and sometimes (gasp), even your savings!

Negative Self-Talk

You know that nagging voice in the back of your head that reminds you of your past mistakes or is just downright negative? Tell it to shut the hell up. Negative self-talk is something we’ve all likely experienced. It can be hard to combat it, but it is possible. At the very least, try to ignore it and/or take steps towards self-acceptance and self-love.

Learn to see yourself in a more positive light.


Via Giphy

We’re all full of them. So full in fact, we start to believe our own bullshit. The only thing keeping you from doing anything is YOU. Excuses are for the birds, if that’s the right saying?

Anyway, f*ck excuses. If you want something, go get it.

Guilt over things you can’t control

I always hear people apologizing over and over again when they’re a little bit late. Stop apologizing. Shit happens. If something is out of your control, stop apologizing for it.

Too Much Social Media

Via Giphy

I know a lot of people who essentially live on social media. Even when they’re around people, having a good time, they are constantly checking their phones. This goes for those of us who are on social media too much when we’re by ourselves. Savor that alone time.

I don’t remember where I heard this but it’s SO FREAKING TRUE: Our phones have replaced our calendars, our alarm clocks, our calculators and a lot more. Don’t let them replace the ones you love. <3

Being “Too Busy” to make time for the people who are important

We’re adults. Hell, we’re all usually busy with one thing or another. It only takes a couple of seconds to send a text to a friend or family member just to let them know you’re thinking about them.

Make an effort to see the people you rarely get to see.

Remember what is most important – the true connections in our lives. Hard pass on the “I’m too busy” excuse. We’re all busy. Make the time. Connections, in essence, are really everything.

Not Taking Pictures because I feel like I look like crap

This was actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions. I missed so many great picture opportunities because I felt “I looked like crap.” Now, I wish I had pics of those memories.

Number 1: You probably don’t look as bad as you think you do. Number 2: It doesn’t matter. You’ll want the pictures down the road, seriously.

If you’re with people you care about or “in the midst of an awesome memory” TAKE PICTURES. Hard pass on the “I look shitty” excuse.

Late Night Snacking/Poor Food Choices in General

I’m super guilty of late-night snacking. I used to head straight for the dill pickle chips and an orange soda. It packs on the pounds quick. Hard pass on unhealthy late night snacking. Lately, I’ve been eating a tomato if I get the urge to snack at night along with a water.

Also, say no to poor food choices as often as you can. Of course, we’re all entitled to a “cheat meal”, but beyond that, say YES to healthier foods and give the greasy stuff a hard pass.

Hard Pass to anything that: doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t benefit you in some way, makes you feel guilty/bad, anything you don’t use.

Via Giphy

We don’t have to tolerate anything that makes us feel bad – that goes for people, too. Anything that isn’t beneficial, doesn’t bring happiness, or is just lying around unused, isn’t anything we need! Keep the good vibes flowing! Rid yourself of anything that causes horrendous, bad vibes!

Sometimes happiness lies not in what we can gain but in what we can pass on. Saying “no” more can really help improve your mental health and happiness. Stretching yourself too thin will cause you all sorts of unnecessary stress. And, we’re all busy so none of us have time for that shit.

January 2019 in nearly over! (Even though it feels like it’s lasted 3 months). What are some things you, personally need to start saying “no” to? Let me know in the comments!

Sending good vibes <3

Krissy October is a professional freelance writer, aspiring novelist and knowledge nerd who is dedicated to consistent self-improvement and finding clever ways to solve everyday problems.


  1. Enjoyed your post on Things To Say “No” To. I try to catch myself when my negativity starts popping up. I try to get rid of it fast. Thanks for all the great tips.

  2. Love this! Some things I never thought about (i’m definitely guilty of feeling the need to finish a book I’m not enjoying) but also things I needed a reminder with (SOCIAL MEDIA). Thanks for this! Love it x

    • Thank you Kayleigh! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *