Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Penelope Andrade


July, 2009 (San Diego) -- Can you say no when you need to? It's often hard to say no . . . especially to people in positions of authority. An airplane once crashed because the crew was afraid to confront the captain. The captain was distracted by a landing gear malfunction and failed to notice the fuel gauge dropping to empty.

It's also hard to say no to people you care about. Saying no to a boss could risk your livelihood. Saying no to loved ones, you fear could risk the relationship.

Here's the tip. Start listening for your inner voice. Even if you're not ready to speak out, at least you can hear what is true for you. Saying no requires developing a clear, sustaining connection with your own inner wisdom . . . with yourself. Take time to discover what matters to you – the values you’d be willing to die for.

As an employee, ask your boss, hypothetically of course, what he wants you to do when you disagree with him. As a parent, acknowledge your children’s’ point of view, hear them out. Help them develop the courage to stand alone. In personal relationships, ask those closest to you to honor you when you do say no.

Developing this ability will enhance your integrity, improve your digestion and even help you sleep better at night. Saying no when necessary is not only good for your health, one day it may even save your life.

Penelope Young Andrade LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist with over 35 years experience integrating the best of traditional and alternative approaches for bodymind transformation. 858-481-5752



Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.