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The Fine Art of Saying “No”

One of the hardest words to say in the English language is just one syllable long: no.

How can uttering one syllable make you feel like you’ve let the universe down somehow? Maybe the reason for our cosmic guilt comes from living in a “yes” culture. If you glance around the cosmos — or, rather, the internet, social media sites and reality shows — people everywhere are saying yes to things. They’ve got more friends than you, more stuff than you and more exciting things to do than rearrange their furniture on a Friday night. And while they’re out there, smiling on the sidelines of their son’s baseball game, running marathons and visiting the Grand Tetons simultaneously, you’re binging on Netflix and your second bowl of rocky road ice cream.

Why should you say no to more friends, more stuff and more trips to the Tetons?

In reality, having more doesn’t mean living a happier life. In fact, recent research shows that people who understand this simple truth — that they’re all stocked up on what they truly need — have an easier time saying no to things.

Here’s why being able to say no, when the world comes calling, is better for you than that second bowl of ice cream.

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