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Say yes to saying No

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OPINION: Husband-and-wife comedians and commentators Jeremy Elwood and Michele A'Court give their views.

Once – just once – I replied to an event invitation with, "I will not able to attend… because I don't want to". It still gives me a tiny shiver when I think of it. The gall! The chutzpah! The cojones – nay, the ovaries (so much more resilient) required to be so frank.

Unnecessarily frank you might think but, trust me, there were Reasons. Enough of them to distil down into that one simple sentence: "I don't want to." Practiced as I am (as we all are) in dreaming up alternative explanations for not doing something we don't want to do – already booked, not well, washing hair – it felt pretty shiny not to spend time and energy creating a lie. The person who wrote, "because I don't want to" doesn't feel like the usual me, but I admire her.

So this is a little shout-out to the self-employed freelancers, valued employees and other people-pleasers who have trained themselves to say "yes" to everything, but are having a crack at embracing the "no".

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* I might not believe in God, but I believe in love

We hate saying "no" because it feels rude,........

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