Up until recently, I never really felt like I could say one of the shortest words in the English language: “No.”

I don’t particularly like conflict, so instead of saying “no,” I have a tendency to walk away. Just cut it off, short and simple. And let me tell you, that’s the worst thing—letting go of something just because you can’t do something like set a boundary. Not being able to say those two letters really digs a hole that you can’t climb out of.

I wouldn’t consider myself a passive person, but lately I’ve been spending more time with myself. I believe that most people my age would call it “mindfulness.” Time like that allows you to just think a lot more, and I’ve come to the realization that I actually AM passive.

It’s not like I want to be, though. Neither one of my parents are, so it’s not genetic. It’s the fact that I’m taught as a woman that standing up for myself and setting boundaries aren’t as important as pleasing someone. To me, that’s more than a little ridiculous. It’s a simple two-letter, one syllable word. Why shouldn’t I be able to say it?

I’ll admit that society’s definitely more political correct and much more tense than it has been in the past couple of years, and with it comes a lot of glossing over things until we burst with emotion, pent-up feelings we can no longer contain, things we can no longer stand.

Emotions shouldn’t be kept in. They’re meant to sweep through us, fill us to the brim and make us feel. So feel your feelings.

But it’s not healthy to let them burst through like a volcanic eruption. If you let a little bit out at a time, it’s better and healthier. Believe me; I speak from experience.

“No,” is such a powerful statement. No one should be afraid to say no. It’s one of the first words we learn as children. But somewhere along the way, people, especially women, are told to just stop saying no.

I say “no,” to that.

No no no no no no no no no no no.

Try it yourself.