The Surprising Benefits of Saying No

benefits of saying no
As the holiday season gathers steam, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you look at your to-do list. I had a little of that feeling last night as my husband and I compared calendars and started to feel like we were behind before the month even started.

Then today we had this funny reminder about the unexpected benefits of saying “no”:

Our internet / phone provider called us about adding a few basic TV channels.

Philip brings the phone upstairs and asks me if I want to add these basic channels for $13.

Easy: no, I do not. We keep a tight budget and $13 for channels we don’t watch (and when we already have an antenna which can get a few local stations if we “need” them), is $13 I do not want to spend.

He walks away, telling the salesperson our answer.

A few seconds later he walks back, a smile on his face. “Do you want them for $3 a month?”

I had to think a little longer, but, no, I didn’t. Like I said, we can already get a few stations with our antenna. We don’t watch any of them on a regular basis. We watch most anything we want by borrowing from the library or finding it online. (And we’re using a free Hulu Plus thing right now too.)

He walks away again, once again saying no.

A few minutes later he walks back, without the phone, and he’s laughing now.

“Well, they’re not going to charge us for them, but they’ll knock $2 off our bill every month if we try this for a year, so I said OK.”

So, there you go. I wasn’t bargaining. It wasn’t a strategy. They’re still channels we don’t need and probably won’t use very often (probably the same ones we can get via antenna). But we’re not paying for them and I can use those $2 a month on something else in the budget.

“No,” in addition to setting boundaries and freeing up resources, can also be fun. Our December calendar is still packed, but this was a nice reminder that saying “No” can sometimes have surprisingly positive side effects.

Have you recently seen a benefit in saying “No”?

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