It's quite a hard thing to do, saying no.
No one ever wants to miss out on something so generally when asked if we want to go somewhere with someone, we say "yes."
When we are told to do something by a superior, we generally say, "yes" even if we don't necessarily think it's the best course of action.
You love your girlfriend so when she asks you to suck on her toes while in the heat of chaka chaka you're going to say "yes" most of the time (hell, if she has nice feet, might not be a bad thing).
What are we doing when we say yes to everything, however?
When we say yes to everything we are acting as a slave or a subordinate to our surrounding community. We give up much of ourselves to be taken by the other's whim. We relinquish many of the values we hold dear to ourselves. We tell ourselves and the world that you have this temporary influence over us. We are yours for now.
When we say "no" we take that power back. We rebel and tell both society and ourselves that we are free. We know ourselves well enough and have the confidence to oppose this temptation, this order, this desire. We experience a moment of freedom.
"What is a rebel? A man who says no: but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation." -Albert Camus
I find it extremely hard to say no at times. I am working on it. I know there are things in this life that I hold dear. There are missions that I need to complete. There is a north star that is guiding me to self-actualization.
But I don't live in a vacuum. I live with other people. People that I care about. People that I rely on. People that I am trying to build a life with. People that I wanna see their toes up close and personal.
What do we come to then?
We come to finding a balance. To recognize when one needs to rebel and say "no." If you cut yourself off from everything and everyone, you will find you haven't lived at all.
Find your freedom. Make your voice known. Hold true to your values and when confronted with someone who tests any conflict with those values, do as Nancy Reagan did and...
"Just say No!"
(totally kidding about following Nancy Reagan, bish was cray and the evidence is clear that the War on Drugs and "Just Say No" policy are complete failures).
Finding your voice is hard. I used to believe that standing up for myself immediately meant there was an asshole flavor to anything I did- even in the smallest of exchanges. This isn't the case. Standing up for yourself is finding your freedom.
It is telling the world that you are free.
You are free to think what you think.
You are free to do what you do (so long as it doesn't infringe on others' freedoms).
And you are free to suck on whatever toes you please.