Why are we so generous with YES, and feel so much shame with NO? What is it about “no” that causes us to bite our tongues rather than to say it aloud? Is it really that hard to say “no” if we don't feel comfortable with something?
We should feel comfortable – if not empowered! – saying no to so many things: when our boss asks us to use brown instead of blue (especially when blue is a primary colour in the brand guideline, and brown is not even close to the rules of using the brand colours); fussy clients stealing our time with endless corrections while expecting us to work for free or, better yet, for "a reference"; rude service in the restaurant; a nagging nephew asking for a bar of chocolate before lunch; and absolutely to someone who tries to skip the line in front of us and asks if we don't mind... We do mind! We don't need to feel obligated to apologise when we use the word no. We should not be sorry that we don't feel comfortable or that we don't want to do something that goes against our belief or will.
On the other hand, we don't have a problem fighting with people that are closest to us, insisting with “no” even when we should be agreeing with them. It's funny how we have double standards for strangers and people we love most.
I'm not saying that we should say no to everything. Rather, a fair balance of “yes” and “no” would be a suitable start.