Girl, No Means No

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Girl, no means no

Although the art of saying no is difficult to master, the art of accepting no is even harder for people. 

Rachel Hollis is a new and trendy sensation with her motivational book, Girl Wash Your Face. Although her book aims to keep an overall positive tone, I can’t help but feel unsettled when I read parts of her book. Her book is self-focused; it reminds me of a book full of Pinterest quotes littered with sandy beaches, dream catchers, and mason jars. Follow your dreams and let nothing or nobody get in your way. Of course her book is gaining popularity. We live in a self-focused world where anyone and everyone want to be uplifted and empowered in everything they do. 

Multi-level marketing companies are running with these words of wisdom, especially the powerful words Hollis writes about not taking no for an answer. “I am successful because I refused to take no for an answer. When it comes to your dreams, no is not an answer. No is not a reason to stop. Instead, think of it as a detour or a yield sign. No means merge with caution.” 

Actually, no it doesn’t. No means no. 

No means no with physical touches and with sex.

No means no when we teach our kids safety and boundaries.

No means no when with speed limits, traffic cones, and red lights. 

I am not writing solely to slam Hollis’ book. I’ve seen this line of thinking everywhere. In entertainment, in any kind of sales, in the classroom, on the news, and even in the way I teach my own children how to behave. Roadblocks, stop signs, and instincts exist for a reason. They protect us from harm in so many ways. 

No does not mean “Find a way to convince me.” It literally means no. You can stop here. To say otherwise is a slippery slope for many reasons. 

Whether you’re a car salesman, teacher, designer, model, door-to-door book salesman, direct-sales consultant, doctor, pediatrician, stay-at-home mom, writer, painter, body builder, influencer, blogger, photographer, or coach, please respect a solid NO. If you encounter a NO, it doesn’t mean to yield and do it anyway; it means it’s time for some self-reflection. Do I belong here? Is this where my talents truly lie? Is my approach off-putting or unwelcome? Am I making someone else uncomfortable? Could/should I go a different way?  

I’m just following my dreams, too. You see, my dreams include saving money, careful and unbiased selection, and a quiet place to think. Don’t trample my dreams while you’re chasing your own. 

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I live in La Follette, TN with my husband Luke and our 3 children: Amelia (8), Lincoln (3), and Arthur (newborn). I'm a kindergarten teacher in the public school system and I absolutely love what I do. I'm very passionate about education and the well-being of children all over the world. I like to write about my experiences as both a mother and a teacher. Balancing both is really tricky, and I'm still getting the hang of it. My husband, who I truly believe is the world's best father, is an auctioneer at his family business Longmire Realty & Auction Co. While we love our jobs, we value family time the most. We spend a lot of time outdoors and love to go camping all over the east coast.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I was very concerned when I read your review. So I went to Barnes and Noble and read the chapters that you spoke about.

    She was not referring to the sex/rape culture or the MLM lifestyle. Why you even brought that up was very disconcerting. You say that you are not trying to trash the author, but I wonder. What was your point in bringing up her book when they aren’t even talking about the same things?

    An editor who says no and a girl refusing rape are two entirely different conversations. I wish you had stuck to comparing apples to apples. Not apples to rotten garbage.

    Now I know how hard it is to say no to friends who sell MLM products, but I don’t compare people who sell pampered chef, Usborne books, or essential oils to a rapist who is trying to trap me.

    Her chapter on “no” was focused around her efforts to publish a book that did not have sensual sex scenes it in it when editor after editor refused her book. She didn’t want to spice it up; she wanted to keep her fictional story of a virgin girl who wanted to stay pure.

    I applaud people who don’t give up. I believe it is a scriptural lesson taught throughout the whole Bible, and I teach it to my children. Will I win every time? No. But instead of having a pity party of woe is me, she encourages us to wash our face and keep our eyes on the prize and pressing forward even when people discourage us.

    I do think her book needs to realized for what it is. It is not a theological treatise, but a book of bright and very positive encouragement and girl chats. She is definitely a glass-half-full kind of person. Her conversational style of writing surprised me, and though it wasn’t my favorite, I didn’t find it offensive.

    As for Pinterest quotes, sandy beaches, and mason jars. That may not be your style of reading, and that’s ok, but I wouldn’t trash a book because it wasn’t my style. I, for one, like sandy beaches.

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