sorry no thank you

Sorry. No. Thank you …


I have a deep-rooted calling to feel happy. To love the skin I’m in and to embrace all the nooks and crannies that make me, me. I need peace of mind like I need oxygen. I need unstructured time like I need water. Consistent contentment and less stress probably boost my immune system more than green juice.

And yet I often get lost in my to-do list, complain about too many commitments and align myself with people who give me more headaches than joy. I’ve caught myself saying things like, “once I’m over this hump I’ll have more breathing room.” But here’s the thing about humps, there’s always another one on the next hillside. And humps hump. Yes, you read that correctly. They breed like rabbits!

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that sometimes my mouth moves before my brain has time to think. And as we all know, words are powerful. So as part of my peace-of-mind plan, I’ve decided to examine my language. Especially the use of the following words: Sorry. No. Thank you. Harmless, helpful words, right? Yet their overuse/misuse can slowly drain our self-worth and damage our relationships, while at the same time watering down their meanings. Consciousness takes practice, so let’s dive in.


There are right times to be sincerely sorry, but there are also wrong times. When I give someone a meaningful sorry, we both feel better. That’s true heart medicine, a 1000-mg dose. I do my very best to apologize when I’m wrong, but I often catch myself saying sorry for no reason at all.

I say sorry (even though I don’t need to) when …

  • I turn unwanted offers down (telemarketers, I’m talkin’ to you!)
  • I ask for what I need.
  • I stand up for myself.

Sorry slip-up flashback: When my new website launched, a disgruntled reader let me know that she didn’t like the design or my smile. In her mind, my site was too flashy, and I had no business running ads for my own books (perhaps she works for free, but I can’t). As for my smile, it was way too big and therefore not authentic. Naturally I was hurt and pissed! Unnaturally I responded with something like “I’m sorry you feel that way, I am proud of my new website and the work I do.” While I’ve always responded to negativity by either ignoring it or blasting it with a fire hose of sunshine, did I have to say sorry? No. Was I sorry? Heck NO. No need to apologize.

Sorry isn’t a band-aid or a replacement for a backbone. Sorry isn’t a “safe word” or a way to keep the peace at the sacrifice of your well-being.

There’s a difference between true remorse and a fear of being judged. Sweet friend, don’t say sorry if there’s nothing to be sorry for. Because, I don’t know about you, but when I mindlessly vomit apologies, I’m often left feeling like a powerless doormat. Yuck. Get off the floor.


Instead of saying no when I need to, I turn my life into a constipated pretzel through a knee-jerk “yes” response.

I say yes when I should say no because …

  • I hate to let people down.
  • I underestimate how long projects will take, and I fail to prioritize my time.
  • I forget that my needs matter — that I matter as much as the other person.

Naughty no-no flashback:  Once upon a time, I agreed to a speaking engagement on a cruise ship. Sounds breezy, right? Not for me. I get extreme vertigo on big boats that can last for months afterwards. So why on earth did I say yes? Several reasons, but mostly because the folks asking me were painfully pushy. They were strong about what they wanted, but was I? I wiggled. I put the answer off as long as I could but eventually caved and said “yes.” I immediately started to panic. How would I get through ten days of physical pain? Answer: I couldn’t! A month later I finally mustered a “no” and pulled out of the gig. Of course, by waiting I caused undue stress for all. If I had been upfront and able to put my needs first, I would have saved us both a lot of grief. Lesson learned.

Saying yes can feel good, and often comes from a positive place. It means we care about other people, want to do good things and spread happiness in the world. It means we’re optimistic and believe in our abilities. Sadly, though, few of us can make every dream match the reality of only 24 hours in a day. As my brilliant bestie Marie Forleo reminded us recently, get on the “No Train,” choo choo! While this may seem like obvious advice, how often are we consistent No Train conductors?

Think about my example. You can’t always “yes” your way out of a problem. Mindlessly agreeing may temporarily avoid discomfort, but it’s often short-sighted and even lazy. Instead of setting a boundary, we slip into “yes” amnesia, forgetting we’ve been here before. In this delusional state, there’s unlimited time, superhuman energy and a gaggle of soul-nannies who keep us fed, bathed and exercised. Sober up! Splash yourself with cold water and (gently) slap your cheek. If you’re worried about scarcity, let that go. Offers and opportunities will continue. Every unwanted “yes” takes you one step further from freedom, well-being and time with yourself and loved ones.

Thank you.

Gratitude is one of the holiest ways to honor and connect with yourself and others. Saying thank you for a generous gift is gracious, repeatedly gushing thanks because you feel guilty or undeserving is not.

I say thank you too much because …

  • I don’t feel worthy.
  • Love may never come again.
  • I don’t want to seem under appreciative.

Thank-less thank you flashback: During my actor-dancer period, I needed a loan to get through a rough patch. I borrowed the cash from a friend, and I insisted on a monthly payment plan. I was truly grateful. I always sent her my checks on time with a gushing note as an expression of thanks. But I had a burning feeling that it was never enough. Years later we had a falling out for a different reason. And what do you think she hit me with? “You never appreciated the money I lent you.” I could have written a personalized thank you across the sky (with my blood), and it still wouldn’t have been enough. One “thank you” or a thousand made no difference. Clearly something much bigger was going on, and that something had nothing to do with me.

A heartfelt thank you is polite and loving. Becoming a thank you Pez dispenser is just plain toxic. No one should hold you captive emotionally or treat you like a mooch. If you find yourself saying “thank you” too much that might mean someone is making you feel inadequate, and it’s time to re-examine the balance in your relationship. Perhaps they don’t deserve you. Look beyond your compulsion to say thank you and address the real issue or elegantly remove yourself from the drama. Bon Voyage!

Wrapping it all up: There’s a fine line between healthy and unhealthy use of language. It’s part of our spiritual journey to find our tipping points and gently adjust them. When I get clear on the why’s behind my sorry’s, no’s and thank you’s, I get clear on who and what needs to be embraced or released. I make room for more living and less second-guessing, more truth and less explaining, more relief and less regret.

Am I ready to live in that space more often?


Is it just me or can you relate? If so, how could you improve the language you use? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’m really curious!

Peace & proper vocabulary,

Kris Carr

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172 responses to Sorry. No. Thank you …
  1. I love this, it really resonates. Thank you (really!) for sharing.

  2. Thank you Kris! No, seriously, thank you :)
    This hits right to the heart of the matter — feeling unworthy and not sure if we’re okay and good enough AS IS. I say, YES we are!
    I can completely relate to saying yes because I am too scared to say no. And I’ve had several cruise ship moments myself.
    This is my year to honor my goods and love myself always in all ways.
    If it’s hard for me to say no, I do the pledge of allegiance with my hand – (remembering my pledge to myself that is) and then I say NO.
    Keep rocking it Kris! Loving you in all ways!

  3. This (seemingly) simple advice is a powerful reminder! We need some good daily habits for healthy self esteem. This article is a like a nutrition packed green juice !! :)

  4. Kris,

    This is a fabulous reminder of when it’s appropriate to say Yes, No, Thankyou or Sorry. I know that I say yes at the expense of my needs and I say sorry too much (exactly the situations you mentioned). I’ll be working on whether saying yes detracts from my well being (and if it does, I will learn to say no), and whether a situation warrants a ‘sorry’.

    You rock… and incidentally, your website rocks and your smile is gorgeous… xxx

    Thanks again
    Samantha :-)

  5. Thank you for articulating this so beautifully! One of my favorite sayings is “I’m not saying no to you, I’m saying yes to me.” But I often forget to practice that and easily slip back into my people pleasing tendencies. I’ve always been an over-apologizer, even when things aren’t my responsibility. As a super-busy gal (I own a yoga studio, am finishing up a masters in counseling, plus an internship!!) it’s so important to watch for energy leaks. These are three places where I can totally say yes to me and practice self-care. Thank you, Kris!

  6. Brilliant! Can’t tell you how many flashbacks I’ve just had with all 3 points. Especially the “sorry” and the “thank you” often gives me a hard time. Especially if someone wants to give you something – well intentioned – but just not “my thing”. How do you get out of that situation gracefully and without hurting the other persons feeling? Or is that just sometime inevitable? Hmmm…. lots of food for thought. Thank you Kris.

  7. I can totally relate!
    There was a period of time where I didn’t value myself as I should. And there are times where I revert back to that attitude. But saying sorry for things I did not do was my biggest tripper-upper. I.e. “I’m sorry you have the flu” I didn’t give them the flu! Shame shame.

  8. I could improve the language I use, first off by hearing my feelings, and feeling my words. You are correct…when you say yes but mean no, you feel it on a bodily and emotional level. That misaligned yes or no will hurt ever slightly, if you are honest enough with yourself about how those words made you feel when you said it. To improve my language, I need to face my fears of loss and loneliness, and I need to encourage myself to remove the boundaries that I have placed in my life. As I honor myself, I can begin speaking words that come from my deep inner knowing and connection with the love and life that I choose to express.

  9. As a cancer survivor myself, three years in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I wasn’t someone who knew how to say no before my diagnosis. It took cancer (and your book Crazy, Sexy Cancer) to wake me up and stop doing the things that I really didn’t want to do. Now if someone asks me something that I truly don’t want to do I tell them that I need some time to think about it. I don’t take long to let them know and if it’s something that really doesn’t sit right with me I just tell them that I can’t do it. It’s not always easy but I only try to give my energy to the things and people that I truly want to because another thing that cancer taught me was how precious our time really is.

  10. Oh Kris! This one went straight to my heart, it was exactly what I needed to see today.

    Much Love,

  11. You are amazing. I thoroughly enjoy your emails and always find something that I can relate to. Thanks for putting a smile on my face and empowering my soul through your work.

  12. You mirrored my thoughts exactly, so sometimes I think people want me to be sorry for not living up to their expectation. I want to be happy in my life and I will follow the guidelines of the universe. I will smile large when I’m happy
    And not try and stop the smile that starts at the bottom of my toes and works itself out in silly wonderful ways. The world needs more of you KC keep it up…….I will say thank you a million times but will from now on limit my I’m sorrys, because you are sooooooo right they take way, but I will thank someone for their opinion!!!!!!! Remember no one will do it for you! Sylvia

  13. Love the post Kris! Thank you

  14. Thank you for this today, Kris! I’ve spent the past few weeks saying “thank you” for things that don’t deserve thanks, and saying “yes” to all the things I DON’T want to do – hoping to get attention and love from someone who clearly is not valuing me right now. It seems like the more I do for this person, the more I feel under appreciated, and then I find myself saying yes and thank you even more. What a silly cycle. Time to focus on me for awhile and my needs. No more thanks for nothings!!

    • I’m sure that most people have dealt with this very same thing. Say thanks to yourself for at least recognizing that something doesn’t feel right. Your awareness is the beginning of you breaking the cycle. I bid you peace, luv & light!

      T.L. Parks

  15. Just had a conversation with 6 friends last night around saying no. Its amazing what can come in when we make room for “yes”. Thanks Kris.

  16. Thanks for sharing Kris. I totally agree with saying sorry. There are certain occasions when we all have to say excuse me when we need to get past. The majority of responses I get are “oh I’m sorry” and say the exact same thing “Why are you sorry?” You have no reason to be, I just need to get past please! It does cause me unnecessary stress personally. I am learning to say “NO” more often now because I was always saying “YES!” to things. I just need to learn to take care of myself without wanting to please others. I to am learning NOT to say thankyou too much as well. You will come across some people who just like to hear it which can be very draining and others who accept you for you and naturally appreciate the things you do for them without the need for the accepting “THANKYOU” Great article and very enlightening.

  17. Well said. This is exactly what I’ve been working on the past year or so and it’s made my life healthier and happier. Now to instill it in my 2 year old and 4 year old.

  18. A constipated pretzel! HA! I love it — somehow that is the perfect way to describe the bind I feel when I say YES to everything. This article really had serendipitous timing for me, as just yesterday I sent an “I’m so sorry but I just have to say No” message to a friend who offered me some freelance work. My New Year’s resolution to myself is to take better care of me, and part of that is saying NO to projects and making more time for my own endeavors and adventures. I succeeded in the “No”, but have been feeling guilty about it.

    For me, and many of us, I think the challenge is not just in learning how to say these words thoughtfully and authentically, but to really embody and trust what we’re saying, too — even after the fact.

    I’m working on feeling proud of myself for sticking to my bigger needs and desires, and not seeing the NO as a door closing, but rather a new pathway opening towards my deeper truth.

    Thank you, Kris, for helping me reinforce this important lesson and feel confident in my choices.


  19. Hi Kris,
    I feel as if it was meant for me to read your post this morning. No such thing as coincidence so here I am.

    I’m guilty of over-thanking and over-apologizing and for the same reasons you mentioned. There’s always been that anxiety about offending anyone. In my family, I’ve always been known as the free-spirited one. I’m the artist and the one who was not quite together. Of course I’ve managed to keep it together over the years and I’ve been blessed with family and friends who are very supportive. But I did think of myself, albeit unknowingly, as inadequate in spite of whatever good I may have achieved.

    Of course that’s something I’ve begun to work on. It’s not always easy but I’m also the kind of person who chooses to be happy so that helps. I think many people forget that there’s always a choice. It’s not always evident, but when you do sit and look at things at a distance, the choices always present themselves.

    Stay well and happy!

    • Monette,

      Your words bring a little sting of tears to my eyes. I, too, am a free-spirited artist type, and I feel like I have been apologizing for my sensitive, creative nature my whole life. This morning I crave an environment where I am free to be myself and not judged as flaky. Now I’m realizing that I have internalized society’s view of me. If I can change my inner state, maybe I will feel more free. I can start by shifting my language to honor myself and my ways.

      Thank you for articulating this for me!

      • I too am an artist. 22 years. Still grappling with confidence issues. Being judged… and beating off what people think of my choice. Bearing the guilt that somehow came (I let it, I know) with becoming and artist. Apologizing all over the place. I appreciate you both sharing your comments and insight and I will be rereading this post and this thread throughout the days to come. Peace.

  20. Thank you for a nice reflexion. I was surprised to see t”thank you” in that list, and then reading I remembered a few times where I said thank you so many times that it was ackward, but yet I still felt the need to say thank you once again. And you’re right; it’s because I felt unworthy of it. Yet these people were trusting me, so maybe I should trust myself too, in these situations.

    As for “no”… I’m in one (or two) of these situations right now, and find it difficult to get out of it gracefuly, and it’s already too late for not causing trouble… Which means either case, I won’t feel good about it. A lesson to learn, I guess.

    I’ll pay special attention to these words this week, as an exercise.

    Thank you (I mean it!)

    • I had a dog trainer ask me if I said “thank you” to the check out person at the grocery store. I do! All the time. It doesn’t make any sense. I try to catch myself and say something else- “have a good day” etc.. Funny thing is most of the time they don’t even say “thank you.”

  21. This timing of this reminder could not be more perfect as I was just pondering The Power of No. Thank you, Kris, for the affirmation. As always, you continue to inspire.

  22. Wow, I’m going to print this and paste it inside my journal to easily refer to this. Having cancer has brought on this nagging feeling of inadequacy in my career and frustration with friendships. This really resonated with me and I really appreciate the encouragement and motivation to focus on self-care :) Thank you, Kris!

  23. kris, i think your smile is authentic, beautiful and infectious so thank YOU for sharing it with all of us!

  24. I definitely need to work on saying no more often! I also apologize too often, so I’m working on killing that, but also genuine apologies, when I truly am sorry and someone deserves an apology, I’m very careful to not apologize for how they feel or how they perceived a situation because it doesn’t take any responsibility or allow them to feel their feelings! Therefore, I think your response to the weirdo who didn’t like your beautiful smile was perfect because it wasn’t actually an apology 😉

  25. Kris, you are always a blast of common sense and raw wisdom and your blog supplies me with the kind of laughs and down-to-earth honesty that makes me feel like I am sitting with a long time and trusted friend. I say sincerely, “sorry, that some people don’t get you, thank you for being brave enough to give the world you and ‘no’ smile is too big”!

  26. loved this article! i just this morning realized i “apologized’ multiple times in emails when all that was really needed was a thank you, not a sorry. i find your site, smile, attitude very inspiring. i have major health issues and your site makes me feel hopeful.

    thanks! cat

  27. This is great advice. I used to say sorry to my clients when i took a long time getting a proposal to them. Now I just say “thank you for your patience.”. Feels better.

  28. I love this post! I have been trying to examine my language as well, as I have also found that so much of what I say comes from a place of fear rather than empowerment. Thank you (genuinely) for putting this into clear words and for sharing your heart with us. My intention for this week is to be aware of all of my no’s, sorry’s and thank you’s. Love to you!

  29. So at first when I read this I thought, “yeah . . . I don’t really have a problem with the words no, thank you, and sorry.” Until I kept on reading. This was a great eye opener. I wasn’t aware of the fact that using certain language could really affect my well-being. I say thank you way too much when someone does something for me, sorry even when I really don’t mean it, and yes to things I know will end up causing me stress later. Thank you so much Kris! I really appreciate your honesty. I look up to you a lot. It can be easy to put people like you on a pedestal and think that you have all your shit together and everything in your life is perfect, but it’s so refreshing to know that you are still working on things as well and you are human just like the rest of us :). You are really inspiring.

  30. Very interesting and thought provoking. The ‘thank you’ hit me. I do find myself saying thank you often. However, I feel it is coming from a place of gratitude. Perhaps I need to look deeper and I will be mindful when I will say thank you, to try to see. See, here I go again; thank you Kris (I really mean it).

  31. Kris,

    Thank you for this article. I just wanted to say I LOVE your photo, I love your website, and bah humbug on any negatives you’ve received.

    YOU are my hero and inspiration and I’m old enough to be your mom for sure and maybe even your grandma :-) I’ve followed you since your documentary on TLC and have many, but not all your books. Thank you!

    BLESS you for all you do for all of us!

  32. Thank you! It is like you have been living in my skin. This blog spoke to me. I am printing it and putting it on the wall in my office

  33. Brilliant! This resonates sooooo well with me! And what a timing! You are such a gem Kris Carr!!! I love your posts … there is style, actual substance (unlike so many websites out-there), honesty, no empty pep talk but still positive = very rare … THANK YOU!!!

  34. Kris-

    I can relate to what you’re saying. I regularly fall into these word/psyche traps for the reasons you list. They all help me “to get along.” Or, so I think. But, do I understand how much I give up by trying to get along? And, who wants a watered-down version of me? Anyone? I don’t even want that!

    Thanks Kris, for keeping it real. Love.


  35. Words are seriously powerful tools. Sometimes I don’t think things through before I say it. On the one hand it can be spontaneous even fun, but on the other you could find yourself making 150 recipes… Which is also pretty awesome!

  36. This are my lessons right now. Setting boundaries has always been non-existent for me. Recently I have lost a couple of friends because of it…but were they friends to begin with? But one came back…and for that I am grateful! When I need to respond because whatever happened has me in a dither…I wait. I think it through. I say “no” far more often, and I don’t apologize hardly at all anymore…not for my feelings or thoughts on any given situation. I do thank people for their time and gifts…sincerely.

    Thank you for this!!

  37. The well known psychologist… Dr. Jung…
    had a client call begging for an appointment that very afternoon.
    He told her that was not possible … his calendar for the day was booked.
    The next time he saw the client , he had to listen to her outrage….
    “I saw you sitting in the park at the very time I wanted to see you! You were not busy,
    and I needed you ! ”
    He replied, “Madame, I had an appointment with myself, and I never break my appointments.”
    So it is for all of us.
    We need alone time.
    Sometimes that means going to a park and watching the river flow, basking in the beauty as we rest our souls and rejuvenate ourselves.
    Make appointments with your self… and keep them!

    • Is there anything better than telling the truth? I had a friend who consistently turned down my Sunday night dinner invitations. Finally, after yet one more awkward lie about other plans she had, she broke down and said, “Listen, I’d like to get together, but I watch the game on Sunday nights. It’s important to me.”

      What a great piece of information! What a gift to not be put off with one excuse after another. We went on to enjoy many years of get-togethers, just not on Sunday nights.

  38. I love your blogs! So insightful and usually touch on things I happen to be going through at the moment…

    As an aside, I thought I was the only one who gets vertigo for months after being on a large ship…so sorry to hear it happens to you, too, as I love cruises but obviously I can’t go on them anymore. I just say NO!

  39. I am so glad to read your statement “Consistent contentment and less stress probably boost my immune system more than green juice”! That sentiment has been my own because I believe my emotional body can so undo all the good I’ve been trying to attain through physical means.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom Kris. They resonate with truths that I can take home! And by the way, your smile is awesome – it radiates a sunny day!

  40. :-( Why did you have to mention Jehovashs Witnesses specifically? They are just trying to help people spiritually too. Do you know how many millions of JW’s there are? I guess they don’t deserve your help too? If people don’t want to listen to me I am still willing to listen to them.

    • To be fair Suzanne, I’m willing to listen to anyone but not when they come to my door uninvited…which is something that JW’s do – frequently. xx

    • I have never understood for the life of me how people who pay for their dwellings are afraid of a non violent people in pairs who just want to share with them the message about Jehovah God. They are providing a free community service of a home Bible study. I have to wonder do people have the same dislike for the new lawn care service in the neighborhood when they come knocking, leaving cards or door tags? What about the new or better plan for TV or phone service, or the new pizza place, the new auto shop in town? Everyone who provides a service come to peoples home, call and/or leaves something to explain what they have to offer. The masses don’t always take advantage of it and maybe are offended some are not and welcome the service. Same thing here with the JW. My neighbor will actually hide when the JW come so she won’t have to answer the door, I crack up all the time. I have to admire their dedication and tenacity. No one works as hard as these folks do, their just being kind, they don’t meany any harm. They aren’t running a business or looking for you to spend your money. Just my two cents.

      Kris dear “let your yes be yes and no be no” is in the Bible. Do what you say you are going to do and don’t apologize for anything unless you are wrong.Thanks Grandma for wise words to live by. I’ve known this for years, over time we forget, glad to be reminded.

      • I don’t think it’s that people are afraid of them, more it’s an intrusion.
        Me personally? I don’t like any form of cold caller whether its religious, a take away posting though a menu – anything. There are a few reasons – mostly I don’t like being disturbed in my own sanctuary but also I’ve got 2 dogs one who suffers from anxiety – the door knocks or bell rings and he goes up the walls.

    • Love your blog but thought your comment about Jehovah’s Witnesses was negative. Like you, JW’s are reaching out to people to offer them hope. They volunteer their time for free because they truly care about their neighbors. Why not listen to them for a minute instead of saying “sorry…”

  41. You always have great advice. I love this post. And as for the grumpy-pants that complained about your smile I say “REALLY, you’re complaining about a SMILE?” That picture makes ME smile and want to do something fun everytime it comes up in my email. Thank you for your open, meaningful writing…and I mean that:)

  42. REALLY interesting post! I can’t believe someone had the actual gall and downright bad manners to email that to you. SERIOUSLY how very rude!

    Anyway, such an interesting post – especially the part about saying sorry. As a Brit I think ingrained in our DNA to say sorry – on all occasions. If someone bumps in to us in a supermarket – we say sorry. If someone knocks on the door, uninvited – we say sorry. I’m going to go on a bit of a personal challenge to quit saying sorry so much because I do think I say it way too much and whenever you say something to much it does lose meaning.

    Anyways…love the post and I REALLY love the new design x

  43. Hi Kris,

    I sincerely love the work you do. Your books have helped me make a game plan to treat my illness, and I’ve been raw vegan for several months and I love it. However, I urge you to please stop misusing the word “gypsy.”

    The word “Gypsy” is the inaccurate term and offensive slur for the ethnic group known as the Romani people. We descended from India in the 10th century, and our people have been nomadic because of persecution ever since, persecution which persists today. Globally, many Romanies live in deplorable conditions because of poverty and isolation, all of which stems from the enduring prejudice against Romanies. When you use the word “gypsy” as a synonym for a flighty soul or a restless hippy, it mythologizes us as a culture, and it devalues both our struggle for human rights and our real culture (our language, arts, customs, and beliefs) as a whole. “Being gypsy” is not a choice or an eccentricity, I am a woman of Romani heritage. I have been stoned and discriminated against for who I am. My ancestors were murdered for what they were. Hate crimes are still committed against us today, we are unlawfully deported from countries because of anti-gypsyist governments, and when people deny that we are real, our human rights remain out of reach.

    While it’s true that there are many impoverished Romanies who are segregated and forced into settlements with no running water or electricity, there are also many Romanies are hardworking citizens of the countries they live in. I teach at Florida State University, and my mother is an artist. Many of us are lawyers, doctors, and academics. There are so many ways to participate in Romani culture; it’s unfortunate that we are so often reduced to a harmful stereotype. Because of this, Romanies who work alongside gadje, non-Romanies, try to hide their ethnicity. I’ve had to do that myself in past jobs for fear of being fired (really), but I’m lucky enough to finally work for an employer who lets me be myself.

    I don’t think that you used the slur and stereotype to be offensive. That’s not your deal, I can tell. I felt though that I would be doing you a disservice not to point out what has become systemic racism, so much so that racist language has become idiomatic. So I invite you to be a sister to us. Find out about who we really are, and help us, using your attention to language, love, and acceptance, with our movement for Romani rights.

    With love and respect,

    • I have great sympathy for the pain and suffering of the Gypsy people: we have several Romani friends since my husband and I play in a Gypsy music group of 7 people. I think most people understand what is meant by the capital word ‘Gypsy’, relating to the people; while the other noun written with a small ‘g’ as in ‘gypsy’ means “wanderer, traveler, nomad”, which can of course be applied in a physical sense traipsing around the globe, or in an abstract sense if one is trying to find your feet in the spiritual or emotional realm. So let’s not get carried away by so-called mis-using of words, and rather respond to others with love and empathy and give each other space!

  44. Chris…you have probably gotten a thousand questions about this….anyway recently reading about wheat grass and juicing…however what I am finding is about drinking this fresh as the juice starts dying immediately after being juiced…I have been pushed into the proverbial health frustration corner, and I am convinced my health issues are either from age and having gone through chemo for my breast cancer…it is probably a combination of all the above….so my question…fresh or powder form…what is the real low down…I have to add I am a person of VERY limited means…I cannot afford to buy air these days…honestly. love your wit and humor and please tell those who cannot find something good to say to go suck rocks!

  45. Kris, This post reminds me of the two most liberating sentences I’ve ever read. “I live by the truth that No is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act.” Written by Anne Lamott in a piece called “Wisdom of Ages”. The link to the full text:
    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  46. Hi Chris,
    I love your website, your insight and your determination to be an example for others. I have breast cancer and you have been an inspiration in my life. I’m also a Jehovah’s Witness and feel sad that you included us in your “sorry” but no sorry comment. Please know we are humans like you and care very much about you and your feelings. Thanks.

  47. Enjoy your article as always Kris, however…. I am a jehovah’s witness, we may be back to see if you changed your mind~ha ha

  48. I finally said “no” to selling Girl Scout cookies. I have always felt weird about allowing my daughter to sell them. The cookie manufacturer gets more money than the girls, and it feels like they are using cute kids to sell their product. I also hate bugging our friends and neighbors over the constant flow of fundraisers from school and church. Rather than feeling comfortable with my “no”, I feel guilty that we are not pulling our weight with the troop. I’ve compensated for my guilt by buying a box or two from every girl scout who asks. We never sold more than 40 boxes in the past anyway, and she was expected to sell at least 150. I have guilt either way, but at least I finally made a stand. Baby steps.

  49. Settings and creating boundaries helps us value ourselves. It is stepping out of the fearful shadow of scarcity and onto the sunny mountaintop of Yes!( by saying no ). I struggle with self esteem and self worth everyday and this little ditty is exactly what I needed to read. I take my power back when I honor my needs. It’s the ultimate love hug. Thanks lady for reminding me I’m pretty great.

  50. Kris,

    Perfect timing for this post. It is just what I needed to hear/read.
    I need to pay closer attention to my words and I have to be very careful not to over-commit myself.


  51. Thank you 😉

  52. Dearest Kris,

    This article and these words are pure truth and genius. There probably isn’t one single soul on this entire planet that cannot relate to all of these! Beautifully, humorously written, truly so healing and amazing. Thank you so much for being you…you are so perfect.

    Leslie Miller XO

    PS ~ You Rock…I Love You!

  53. Hi Kris, yes I can relate. Mine stems from a lack of self-belief, fear of rejection – for valid reasons, but something I continue to work on.

    Thank you (sincerely!) for sharing,


  54. What an excellent article! My friends have told me I say sorry too much so it was very interesting reading for me.

    How can someone’s smile be too big?! All smiles are beautiful. I hope someone gave that complainer a big ‘ole hug, because she needs it. 😉

  55. THANK YOU ,THANK YOU ,THANK YOU! My heart is heaving a sigh of relief and what empowering wisdom! Your insights have been as big a part of my personal health and life restoration as the nutrition and exercise.

  56. Kris..first off, I LOVE your site and more importantly.. your smile is beautiful 😉
    This really hits home with me, just this morning on the way to work I was telling my husband that my days of being the “go-to” person are over. I felt bad just saying it but it is time to put me and my needs first. I always over extend myself and end up putting my needs and wants last and some of the time the people are unappreciative of my efforts.
    This blog was timed perfect and just want I needed this morning! It gives me the little push in the right direction knowing that it is ok to say “no”..
    *Hops on the NO train*

    Thank you !!

  57. I needed this. I’m starting to change my language by first realizing that I have a choice! At work I am asked on a weekly basis to pick up others slack/hours along with working mine and it has become too much. I can no longer except these requests of me.

    It’s so hard and any of us that deal with this know that. It almost makes my face cringe to utter the words, “no” or “I can’t” but it’s an instant relief once I do. I decided a couple days ago and I’ve already been confronted with a situation where I had to use my “knew word”. I’m actually looking forward to the next time I can practice and every time I think it will become more of a breeze. I’m excited for all the knew things that will be brought to my little less busy life because I’m learning to speak more consciously.


  58. This is the confidence-boosting piece for the start of the week! Thank you especially for the line “Becoming a thank you Pez dispenser is just plain toxic.” :) xx!

  59. Your blog is wonderful! I love the way you put words together! I will smile every time my brain reminds me that i am being a Pez dispenser of something meaningless. Your thoughts are spot-on, and I totally agree with respondents on ALL the compliments to you. Truly!

    One aspect of “sorry” that has stuck in my personal thinking is that it can be used as an expression of compassion, not just as an expression of guilt. ” I’m sorry you’re sick” or “I’m sorry you don’t understand” is pointed compassionately at the other person, not me. After this discussion, i am thinking that i might have to choose another way to express compassion. “I hope you feel better soon” is also something that can be overused and casual, but is often quite heartfelt. Perhaps the vibe that is offered with the words is what makes the difference.

    So the bigger message that I am taking from the blog (and responses) is to avoid ANY utterances that are automatic and meaningless. Stay heart-centered ….and be your own best friend/advocate. Challenges for us all, but worth it.

    The only place in my life that I give bottomless thank-yous is in my prayers. Otherwise, one well-expressed thank you is sufficient.

    Thanks, Kris! You are such a breath of fresh air! Those of us who have been doormats really understand the beauty of fresh air. :-)

  60. Kris, I can’t find times for the tapping sessions…

  61. I’m guilty of saying “sorry” when it’s unnecessary. In fact, I used to be so overly apologetic that instead of preventing people from getting mad at me, it caused them to become irritated! I think it’s because my self-esteem used to be so low and my personality so mercurial that I tried to be everything for everybody. I’ve learned that it’s much more personally gratifying and satisfying to be authentic and when I’m tempted to apologize, I ask myself beforehand if the action or situation warrants an apology. I’m learning to not apologize for who I am and who I want to be. Life’s too short for that shit.

  62. Wow, well said and so true. YES, I am one of those ‘YES’ trains. Your words are so right on…we think we are super humans and we can do and help all. Every fundraiser, every volunteer effort etc. But when hit with cancer this past year, it was a huge wake up call to what i can and cannot do. For months I didn’t use the word ‘YES’. Unless of course it was for another GREEN DRINK. But then when I started to feel better that ‘YES’ word snuck back in to my life and once again I found myself riding that train and the sad news is, is that I it hindered my healing process and put me back a bit. So your words of wisdom come at a great time and a reminder to watch what we say and how we say and when we say. So with that said, truly THANK YOU for your inspiring words along my journey with cancer. Your books from the beginning have been a welcome addition to my life. Keep up the great work.

  63. What an AMAZING site!!! Great information and well promoted! Kudos!! I’m curious what did it take for you to build this dream? My clients will be bursting with joy to see this site!

  64. I wanted to say “thank you,” but instead will say I am pleased that I signed up for your emails. (smile) I came across a link to your site via the Astrotwins’ horoscope page. Very insightful and helpful information. Saludos! (Cheers)

  65. That’s what I needed to hear today, the saying ‘yes’ part when it comes from guilt to displease someone or a twisted sense of obligation arghhhh. This post is acting like a support for me! I’ll write it big somewhere I can see it everyday, such a toxic habit.

    I liked the thank you part, I never thought about it like that.

    Great smile by the way, and I love flashy!

  66. Hi Kris,

    This is a great post. I have been thinking about saying these three words to often or to little for a while. I used to be a person that would raise her hand first and commit before even knowing what I volunteered for. Of course all in the good believe in helping friends or family but usually forgetting the most important person in my life – ME. Some people will say this sounds selfish but isnt it natural that I come first in my life? Then I was wondering that if somebody asks a question clearly that person must consider both answers “yes” and “no” as it is not their answer to give. I believe that we can ask everything we want but we need to be okay with both answers. Meaning that I can say No and other should except that. If they dont then that is their problem not mine as nobody should determine what I should do or say.

    Funnily enough my experience with this approach is that people really do accept a No a lot better than I always gave them credit for. So I believe just being yourself and decided on your own well-being what you need to do without apologizing.

    Have a fun-tastic day.


  67. Loved this article! I’m happy to say that I am getting much better at saying No (it took a few rounds of severe burn-out and stress for that lesson to sink in!), and I feel that my Thank Yous are always sincere, as well as my apologies. I shared this article on FB because I feel a lot of people struggle with one or more of those phrases. And you’re right, if one of them is being overplayed, it is a sign to re-evaluate friendships, which I’ve had to do recently.

    Thank you for this post!

  68. Your writing makes me smile, Kris.

  69. Hi Kris! <3 I really enjoyed your post today. It has me much more aware of my "Sorry"s + "Thank You"s. Yes, even if the way I feel might let someone down, I don't have to be "Sorry" for it. + also, knowing I am deserving without the need to constantly say "Thank You" for the same thing over + over again. This was a good one! 😉 I am already implementing. :)

  70. Great one mama. I can totally relate. Being a giver, a healer, I like to well … give and heal. Recently I had a huge AHA while coaching a client when I told her it’s not truly giving and loving if you are not sure and conscious of your giving. I took that in as I said it, and decided to take it to the next level in my own life as well. Many times I say yes when I mean no, and overthank when I feel someone being short or annoyed. I end up feeling, like you, depleted and like a doormat. Love this vulnerable post and ps your smile looks gorg and site feels great :)


  71. Thanks Kris for the honesty that comes from your heart (and experience).

    Sometimes it’s really hard being a nice person. When your heart loves the world and everyone in it so much that all you want to do is be there for everyone.
    It’s hard when it hurts you that someone else is hurt or suffering – especially if you are accused of causing the hurt – there are no words – sorry, thank you, yes, no – none of them fit.

    It’s easy to get lost behind the scenes of your own journey through life.

    Today I needed to be reminded to say No and mean it – to say Thank You and move on – and sometimes to say Thank You instead of Sorry.

    Keep up the good work Kris, I and thousands of others are very grateful to you.


  72. Kris,
    I love your authenticity! This blog is so right on. True gratitude and an honest apology when warranted are two of the most important gifts you can give others and yourself. When overused or misused, however, no one is served. I am finally learning this at 47, and am now teaching my kids…you are a smart girl to have discovered how powerful these words are. I am so very grateful for your work. Your books (yes, I have them all), dinners and messages continue to improve our lives. Thank you!

  73. I can relate to this article. I have done things for others that I don’t really feel like doing. I do it to be nice and helpful. But i have been realizing it usually results in something negative happening to me. The example that comes to mind is agreeing to watch a girlfriends kids for an evening while she had an evening class to teach and her husband was out of town. I really didn’t feel like doing it. It was just before Christmas and I reluctantly agreed. Her kids had been sick the week before and what do you know??? My kids got sick that week. I should have just politely said no and gone with my gut.
    And I have found I do this at church. And it is so unhealthy. It makes you feel nice to be helpful but I don’t need anyone’s approval to know my worth. And it is harder to say no than yes. But it is required to lead a balanced life. There is some tension in finding and living that balance between doing too much and over committing yourself to not doing anything at all and being to focused on self. But self care is extremely important. If we don’t look after ourselves we are really of no use to anyone.

  74. awesome post!

  75. Dear Readers,

    We took down the use of “Jehovah’s Witness” and “gypsy”. Kris and our team embrace and respect all religions and people.

    Best regards,
    Corinne Bowen
    Creative Director at

  76. I am the yes machine and this post reminded me I can say no… I am encouraged to say no. And I’m excited about that. I also spew sorrys out… Especially in a restaurant. Thank you for this meaningful content.

  77. Hi Kris, I’m from New Zealand and just love all your books. You have a wonderful writing style that pins life’s truths down so eloquently and with a great sense of humour. Also, another very good blog post today. Smile too big? No way! We should all re-learn to laugh again until our tummies ache, at least once a day! All the best and THANK YOU for all the great inspiration!

  78. Amen, sister!!

  79. Kris, I really loved this post as I love every one of your posts. I was OUTRAGED (serious cortisol infusion..NOT cool) at your story that someone ragged your smile and new site. It is incredible how we all have such different tastes. I love your smile and I love your new site. I was so excited when I got your initial message saying that your site was going to be more of you (not that the other site was less – I just particularly enjoy hearing from you as you in particular are such an inspiration to me). What you say about too much ‘thank you’ really resonated with me. I agree that if we find ourselves feeling like our ‘thank you’ is inadequate, we are either assuming that incorrectly (and we should not assume things – ‘Four agreements’ :) ) or the other person is holding us emotionally ‘hostage’. Good for us to keep that in check for sure.

    Thanks again for your beautiful site and that inspiring smile!! Best, Christine

  80. This message has been perfect divine timing! I have been on Thank you overload with some new friends, and really have not liked the feeling. I feel validated in what I was feeling.

    Thank you( ha ha)

  81. I find myself saying “sorry” at the same time as someone who bumps into me. ie in the line at the bank…
    I intend to rewrite this piece of language.

    I really enjoyed your blog, thank you:)

  82. I actually say “Thank you” when people thank me. How weird is that? IT even weirds me out when I do it. Now I’m reflecting on why….

  83. This was spot on! I have been guilty of all three verbal overuses for more years than I’d like to admit, ummmm my whole life of 43 years! Lately, I have been much better at “saying what I mean” and it feels SOOOOOO good. I feel true to myself and oh so empowered. This was super, a genuine thank you to you, Kris!

  84. Like you, I love the skin I’m in and my awesome body that keeps itself alive so my spirit can experience our world. And yes, I need peace of mind about EVERYTHING. Keeping a consistent schedule is excruciating for me – it’s like asking an artist to paint the same picture every time! I’m thrilled to know that I may not be the only one who requires less structure rather than more.

    What exceptional statements you make about saying thank you irresponsibly. People in our lives sometimes work incredibly hard at trying to force us to be “polite” instead of being honest with them. It truly isn’t worth it to succumb. Thank you for the poignant reminders to be who we are from a place of loving ourselves completely.

    You rock. I, too, am battling cancer and your cheery, upbeat words are an immense blessing to me every time. I look forward to my Krissy Fix each time and depart from it smiling from the inside out!

  85. Kris, this feels like much-needed oxygen. i’ve always been a people-pleaser, and it’s only hurt me. Surviving ovarian cancer a few years ago, i realized more than ever the importance of self-care and sticking to my boundaries. but i still need some reminders, it’s really difficult sometimes, whether it stems from wanting to up the ante and be that “superwoman” who can handle anything, to just wanting to be liked/loved. your words this week = helpful beyond belief.
    Thank you for your amazing vision and bad-ass spirit! You are awesome.

  86. I love this. When I’m getting sucked into people-pleasing and saying ‘yes’ and ‘sorry’ and ‘thanks’ when I don’t mean it, I take a step back and watch how my 4-year old interacts. It always amazes me how honest and decisive we are as children, before the layers of convention and moderating behaviour get applied.

    I compare the pressure to continually say ‘yes’ to feeling like Alice in Wonderland. All she wants to do is get to the beautiful garden, but door after door opens revealing mad hatters, grinning cats and crazy queens. It’s taken me my whole life to get clear that closing those doors down that corridor is the only way to get to the big ‘yes’ and the beautiful garden. (And a book. I wrote and illustrated a book about saying no, mostly because it felt like the hugest life-lesson for me and those I love).

    p.s. red contact lenses work pretty well on pushy evangelists and tupperware salesmen 😉

  87. As usual from you, another refreshing, down to earth, mind-opening article. This one teaches an aspect about living more “mindfully”, more present, more aware, more purposeful..
    About your smile in your newsletter, it radiates authentic joy, bliss ! The truth is when I see it, I do let it influence my mood positively. So I do feel ‘sorry’ for that person who commented the opposite, as it is a sign that, as you said, there is something bigger (and unpleasant) going on in that person’s life, to have felt that way about you; and it has nothing to do with you. I don’t think your response was inappropriate in that case, as you did not indicate “sorry that I hurt you”; just “sorry that she feels that way”, which is compassion :) And then you asserted that the fair and healthy “” I am proud of my new website and the work I do”.

  88. Do I put the recipe picture on your Facebook page .

  89. I loved this post. Thank you, Kris, for once again, reminding us to slow it down and take stock of what we do and say. These little words add up to a lot and it was nice to be reminded of the impact that their misuse can have. I vow to be more aware of how I use them starting now!

  90. Hey Hot Chica~
    We are definitely sharing the same message. In the immortal words of Katharine Hepburn, “Never apologize. Your friends do not need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”
    EnJoyed talking story in Vegas Baby. Hope your luving on your kyanite.

  91. Hello again!
    I think I need to copy this and post it in my home!
    You hit the nail squarely on the head, Kris.

  92. I love what you wrote. I often feel as though I’m the only one with this use of words and with these sentiments; but I am not! Yes! Thanks for expressing this so eloquently and helping me to feel more connected to one and all. :)

  93. My stepmother likes to shower me and my sisters with gifts but then expects us to say “thank you” in this elaborate, over-the-top way, yet she will still complain to our father that we are ungrateful. She has done this since I was 9 and I am now 34. It has made me unable to know how I can express gratitude to people and I cringe with fear and anxiety whenever someone helps me or gives me a gift, especially if I cannot immediately return the favour. I remember a friend of mine who helped me move houses and drove me around to get furniture as I have no driver’s license frowning in utter confusion when I thanked her profusely. “Um…why do you keep thanking me?” she asked. “I told you, it’s no big deal at all! I enjoy doing this for you.” It completely overwhelmed me when she said this!
    I have no idea how to get over this, but on the plus side, it has made me very relaxed about giving to people – to me, the giving itself is the pleasure, not anything the person receiving does or doesn’t do.

    • Hannah, my mother-in-law is alot like your stepmom. She gives me and my children lots of stuff (which we neither need or want) and expects profuse thank you’s. Rather than throwing out a bunch of thank you’s and setting a bad example for my kids, I make a concious effort to say thank once in an firm audible way, while making eye contact, and then I make a concious effort to not say it again :) I then make a concious effort to not feel guilty when she complains to my husband that I am unapreciative.

  94. Kris,

    My best friend Amanda is a boundary queen. She knows when she needs time to herself, and she’s not afraid to say no to opportunities that might interfere with that. She also never apologizes for taking alone time.

    At first, it was jarring. I wasn’t used to people who weren’t afraid to be assertive about what they needed. After I got that her declines had nothing to do with me, I came to have an immense amount of respect for Amanda. But that wasn’t until I got over the jealousy. She had something I didn’t, and I wanted it. Bad. That something was self-love.

    I was one of those people who said “no” too little, “sorry” too much and “thank you” to the point it was annoying. Then, I started taking care of myself. I sought out a good therapist, kept a good self-development book on my night stand at all times and surrounded myself with compassionate, positive people like Amanda. I slowly began to understand the importance of spending time doing things I loved, and one of those things was spending quality time with myself.

    With over a year of therapy under my belt, and the new-found awareness to say no, I was often overcome with guilt soon after I said the word. I apologized profusely, hoping the person I turned down wouldn’t be upset. That has also drifted as I realized my friends would still be my friends and, over time, I felt more deserving of the things I gained when I said no.

    But my saying sorry hasn’t gone away completely. If I pay attention, I see that I still apologize when I feel a certain way and a friend feels differently. I say sorry before I ask for things that I don’t feel worthy of (then spew a million thank you’s if I get them).

    Until I read your post, the amount of times I use “thank you” as a way to assuage my guilt, or cover up that unworthiness, had never crossed my mind. Neither had the idea that saying those words over and over again might make the receiver uncomfortable, annoyed or even pressured into assuring me that I deserve whatever they handed out.

    So, when I say thank you for your post, I mean it. I’ll walk into the world tomorrow with an awareness I didn’t have before. Maybe I’ll apologize even less and use “thank you” more sparingly, but I’m positive I will look deeper into the thoughts and beliefs that prompt the desire to incorporate these phrases into my daily conversations.

  95. Great blog. I can so relate! Thank you for the reminder to just “stop” and to be authentic with my comment and believing in my own worth.

  96. Kris,
    I love the direction that your new blog has taken, spending a lot of quality time with the spiritual issues as well as the dietary ones, knowing of course that you can’t do one without the other. I was listening to Eckhart Tolle recently and he was talking about how the “constipated pretzal” in us has a life of its own and will bring us back into suffering to feed its own existence. However, we can stop the pattern when we bring our presence to the issue, and you are helping us do that. A wonderful reminder to be present when we say Sorry, Yes, and Thank You. A deeply grounded, wise, and timely article. Stop. Breath. Thank you. :)

  97. I knew I needed to learn to say no more and let go of the worry of letting others down, but it never occurred to me I feel like a thank you dispensing machine, especially with social media and having a blog. A very sincere thank you for opening my eyes to that. I think in some ways I’ve been unconsciously depleting myself. Moving forward fully aware.

  98. Dear Kris,
    We’ve been sold so much crap in America, especially in the health world, that we’re hyper-defensive and feel that we have to point fingers at anyone who even mentions compensation as if they have joined the darkside. I’m a nutrition student at a University and I have my eyes wide open and am very critical and objective of sources. I own two of your hard copy books and an e-book and I didn’t buy them just because I love glossy recipe books and have deep pockets to purchase every old cookbook on the market. I bought them because out of all the nutrition outlets I research you have helped me the most physically and emotionally. I bought them to support you because I believe in what you’re doing. I bought them like I would buy an artists’ paintings to support their talent, skill, and what I get from the interaction with their work. Buying your books meant receiving a momento of this great experience and is a tangible reminder of why I check in every week. And they are spiritually worth more to me than the majority of the textbooks I have had to buy recently at six times the price of your books. Just had to put that out there.

  99. Excellent post. Though not a new message to me over the years, I definitely need to hear it from time-to-time.

    I know that since being diagnosed with cancer now twice (2007 early stage breast cancer; 2012 Stage IV Carcinoid/Neuroendocrine Cancer), I have taken a serious look at this issue and how we use language against ourselves and others. What I find myself doing, sometimes, is being seduced into the muck and mire by buying-in to the language of others.

    Discernment is so necessary. Knowing when to walk away from old thinking or unhealthy acquaintances, etc. is paramount to living a healthier life, for however much longer I have on this earth.

    Keep the straight-talk coming! I will sharing some of you on my own blog, if you are amenable to it. Please let me know. :)

  100. Thanks for this Kris. It’s great advice! And for what it’s worth, I love the new website format. And your huge, authentic smile :)

  101. Do I ever know what you’re talking about, I am the queen of “sorry”… my husband is always telling me this… My main issue is that I have a VERY HUGE guilt complex… So much so I internalize peoples pain and say sorry for that as well! It’s a work in progress… I have come a long way but it’s like I say to my husband all the time, I can change my reaction or response… but it’s what’s on the inside I have a hard time changing… how to you stop being you or feeling the way you have always felt about certain thing (the guilt)? Not easy!! I’m still on that road, I am confident that one day I’ll find a good balance though :) P.S. I just wanted to put it out there that before I even read the comment about the woman who bashed your site, I thought to myself wow, this site is REALLY nice… that’s the honest truth so great job!! Love it! :)

  102. I never apologize. I value myself and my time and space. When someone asks me to do something my lips are already forming “NO” and I always say “thank you”for asking. Another thing I never say is “just”. Peo

  103. People who call me and say “it’s just me” is so annoying. It’s that devaluing themselves. Your not a just you are someone ca valuable vital person. Don’t say just.

  104. Holy resonance, Batman! I was feeling incredibly anxious today and you just delivered a breath of fresh air. Whew. Time to turn down some projects and do some tapping!

  105. I got a habit of “oh, I’m sorry.” thing going on. I try to break it because it does make me feel inadequate but it keeps coming out of my mouth. Yikes! I can totally relate, Kris. This post really spoke to me; I think I’m going to improve my language by waiting, taking a breath, and thinking before I respond. Beautiful post, Kris! (and no need to say thank you! hee hee). xx

  106. I really need to read this!!! Because, I cannot always say no, I’m thinking “refuse” and I just say nothing or say “yes”… Thank you for the reminder :)

  107. Kris, I loved this article. I can TOTALLY relate. I say all three words too often – especially yes! I feel like I am always putting everyone else’s needs before my own, and I am left feeling drained and exhausted. I think that I have enough time to do everything and always put my needs last. When this happens I can’t be the person that I want to be! I appreciate that you were so upfront when writing this article.

  108. This article spoke volumes to me. It felt as though it was made for me to read. I needed this today. Thank you, no really THANK YOU!

  109. What a fabulous post, Kris. I can definitely resonate with each of these! It’s so easy for one or all three of these little words to trip off the tongue and then it becomes a habit (yikes!). It reminds me of the need to stand in my power and take care of myself. I’ve found that if I can pause before replying and tune into my body, then I’ll know if I should be using these words – the body knows! I love the way you’ve structured this post too – it’s entertaining as well as insightful and so honest. Thank you.

  110. Dear Kris,
    Thank you for sharing the “yes’ stories.

    I can totally relate to them but from another perspective, I feel guilty when I say NO instead of bending the pressure to do something everyone expects me to do.
    Must let go of that guilt and look after myself.
    I did have a positive feedback once from a patient of mine who said he knew where he stood with me as I had clear boundaries.
    Thank you Kris….more work for me to do

  111. Another great, honest, from the heart, resonating blog kris. I believe that these words should only be used when they come from the heart and not from any other place (like guilt, obligation, worry, fear, the list goes on). We could all take more responsibility for our own actions and feelings if we did everyone from the heart and not because of guilt, fear etc etc. thank you for sharing from the hear. Jess xxx

  112. Oh, I so get this! I used to play tennis with this same group of women and one time we noticed that we were forever saying “sorry” … whenever we missed the ball, whenever we took too long to pick up the ball and even when we hit a great shot and won the point (wasn’t that why we were playing???). We then realized that you never hear men tennis players apologizing on the court, so why were we??? Right then and there we decided to try to break this habit! But it wasn’t as easy as we thought. You’re right, it takes practice.

  113. My step mother in law has refused to have anything to do with my new born son or I for ten months because I didn’t send a formal thank you card for her shower gift ( which I wrote & my husband never mailed). I’ve stressed a lot about it, but it’s clearly not about me or the beyond a verbal thank you etiquette.

  114. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this, it definitely hits home with me! I’m a chronic sufferer of saying “I’m sorry” and “yes” way too much. I find myself saying each of those when I don’t really mean it, because I just want to please those around me. And just like you illustrated in your “thank you” section, it’s often never enough. The more you say “I’m sorry” to someone, especially about something you’re not really sorry for, the more they seem to hold whatever you’re apologizing for against you. I never realized how powerless it makes you in other people’s eyes when you overemphasis your thanks or sorrow for something.
    I’m going to make a conscious effort to not apologize unless it’s truly necessary and to only say it once. Even harder still, I’m going to try my best to only say “yes” to things I truly want to do and not just to make someone else happy. I’ve locked myself into way too many engagements that I wasn’t interested in attending, or roles that I wasn’t comfortable being in for the sake of someone else’s feelings.
    Thank you, Kris! I sincerely mean that! This was a huge wake up call!
    – Jen

  115. Loved this! As a stage 3a clear cell carcinoma, ovarian survivor. I find you so inspirational!

  116. Oh my!! I’m the WORST for saying I’m sorry for no good reason. Someone can cut me off in the grocery store and I’ll say “Oh, I’m sorry” to them. Many, many, many times I’ve said to myself and sometimes (afterwards and probably not so they can hear), “No I’m not. I’m not sorry at all”. It’s nuts and definately something I’m going to work harder to stop doing.

  117. You SHOULD be proud of your work! I love your webside and your books and the work you do.
    Thank you for everything!

  118. I work for a company whose motto towards customers is “Just say yes.” So even when they’re wrong or abusive, we have to say “I’m sorry” and try to please them, even if their requests are outrageous. If we don’t, we get written up and the customer is send coupons for free merchandise by the company. Every time this happens, I feel like I lose a bit of my soul. I know several co-workers (myself included) who have been brought to tears by a customer. And it’s over coffee! Thanks for writing this!

  119. Another awesome post Kris. Learning to say no is hard. I was the yes person – the helper to everyone and then I stopped as I was exhausted. No one else picked up the slack – they were just use to me helping them or arranging every event. Over time, I have learned to say yes again but if that feeling that I should say no comes up – I say “let me think about it”. I have also learned that I need to allow people to say no and give the option by saying “think about it and let me know if it works”. That way, everyone has time to reflect on what really works for them. As a Canadian, sorry is used here for everything – it will be hard to remove a cultural way of speaking but I am up for it. And while I use thank you often, I wish more people were in the habit of using it and of course meaning it.

    Thank you again for hitting the mark with another post.

  120. This describes me with apologizing and thanking, but I am pretty good at saying no.

    I had a huge fight with a “friend” over this. She saw my no’s as selfish and not what good friends do.

    Yet she does not see how she is ruining her health with the inability to say no and over stressing herself to get it all done.

    Definitely will be working on the mindless sorry and thank you’s!

    Great post.

  121. I think you need to have this balance in your own life so others can have there boundaries too, great blog!

  122. Great article, I think it’s important to keep this sort of balance, the ability to stand up for yourself and be true to yourself, these are so important
    Thank you

  123. A friend recently told me that she can never tell people “no.” I told her, “You tell people ‘no’ all the time. When you said ‘yes’ to that event that you didn’t want to attend, you were saying “no” to your family, who you had planned to spend the evening with.” Too often we and the people closest to us get all of our “no’s” because we’re handing out all our “yes’es” to everyone else. Thanks for these words and reminders, Kris!

  124. I can absolutely relate. My husband and I have noticed that a lot of people say things that are simply unnecessary or that they don’t mean. Ever since we noticed we did it ourselves, we have almost removed all of it from our vocabulary and from our behavior.

    The words “sorry” “the best” and “I love you” are thrown around way too often without any real merit or emotion behind them.

  125. Thank you, Kris, for another cupful of pure wisdom and light! Your insights and the sharing of your journey always inspire and enlighten me. And, by the way, you have a GORGEOUS smile and I LOVE the website!
    Namaste and xo

  126. Thank you Kris for sharing this, really powerful stuff and it is reassuring to see that I am not the only one who has felt this way. So got your message from you sharing you own experiences, and helped me “forgive” myself for my own wanderings off the path from my own contentment and happiness.
    Way to keep it real, and love you for it!

  127. I am (sincerely!) grateful for this article, Kris. I can relate to everything you wrote about. I’m working on addressing and releasing the discomfort that I’m faced with almost every time someone asks me to do something I’m not excited about and I impulsively say ‘YES!’ while thinking… ‘No, oh God, No!’ It’s time for my people pleasing ways and self-defeating beliefs of, ‘I’m not worthy of awesomeness all the time so I might as well take what I can get even if I’m miserable’ to go!

  128. Words do mean things and I agree with you and will share your article.

    Thank You,

    Alex Bell

  129. A sincere thank you for your your timing :) Wow!
    I’ve shared this on my blog so as not to lose track of the reminder.

  130. Saying “no” when I need (or just want) to is something I’m still working on… but I’m getting better at it! Here’s an example:

    Recently, I was asked to give an oral presentation to a colleague’s clients, with only two days’ notice. The presentation would have been on a topic I had no prior background or expertise in. I declined, saying I was not the best person to give a presentation on that topic, and suggested someone more appropriate.

    My colleague refused to take no for an answer—and asked me to do the presentation anyway, this time on a topic related to my work. Providing needed information to clients was a worthy goal. I did have the information and resources to give. However, the deadline to prepare the presentation was unrealistic, and the total time commitment needed for it was unclear. There was a possibility I might have to give the same presentation more than once, or stretch out the material for the presentation over several nights.

    When it came right down to it, the lack of clarity on the time commitment involved was the deciding factor for me in saying no for the second and last time. This colleague’s supervisor had a history of asking me to do projects for her that ended up taking much more time than I’d been led to believe—time that would have been better spent on higher-priority projects. I also didn’t want to give up a free evening (or several) to do something that a) wasn’t required for my job; and b) I didn’t really enjoy doing anyway. (For me, giving an oral presentation is about as much fun as having a root canal. With no anesthetic.)

    I felt pressured into giving the presentation, and angry and resentful when I considered giving in to this last-minute request I knew was rooted in a lack of planning on my colleague’s part. (Now what was that about “not constituting an emergency on my part”?) I wasn’t responsible for her failure to book a speaker ahead of time—and I wasn’t responsible for solving that problem for her. I was responsible for keeping any commitments I did make—and I had a responsibility and a right to say no if I didn’t think I’d be able to keep them.

    That turned out to be the key to my (ultimately effective) response: “No, I won’t be able to do the presentation. I’m not comfortable with the time commitment involved—and I’d rather say no than make that commitment and not be able to keep it.”

  131. No is my biggest challenge. When to say NO and how to say No can be quite challenging but the more i work on being my authentic self the easier it gets to say No and truly really mean it.

  132. Wow, I am speechless!

    What an amazing clarification of such simplicity of vocabulary that indeed affects our communication with others. I agree and I will so look forward to making changes in my writing and in my verbal communciation. This is so true and knowledgable.

    I beleive that will add words to your three most used words, and they would be:

    Yes, Maybe, Not sure, Could be, Must, Anyway, Tentative, and there might be more, there the word Might as well goes in this list I just wrote… LoL ; ) These are words that detain opportunities of preventing what you really want to say up front and centered.

    Elizabeth Aviles

  133. I really enjoyed this. I would LOVE for Kris to do a blog specifically dealing with relationships…knowing when to say No or Yes. Listening to your gut. Facing the fears. Not settling. What are your deal breakers? (If they watch Jerry Springer and play video games excessively?) What are your necessary requirements–should they be actively pursuing a forward-thinking way of living and being…or if they are deeply rooted in the old world and way of living, striving and pursuing material rewards, does that make them off-limits?

  134. One “thank you” that I always regret as soon as the words slip out of my mouth is when I get pulled over by a cop. It doesn’t matter if I drive away with a ticket or they “go easy” on me, I’m not actually thankful for anything about the experience.

    Other things I try not to say would be self-defeating mantras. Some of these are, “I swear I can be so dumb,” “I’m so forgetful,” “I always do that” (usually something I don’t want to keep doing), “I hate…” (something about that statement just doesn’t feel right to me).

    One more thing I would like to be more aware of is trying to please other people by agreeing with them. If they say something that I don’t necessarily relate to I tend to say, “I know,” or a give nervous giggle coupled with a “Yeah.” Then I proceed to tie an experience or thought loosely together with what they said.

    Good blog entry.

  135. Thank you for posting this, Kris! The entire article resonated with me – right place & right time.

  136. I think it’s very important to take time off for yourself, and I’ve learned that over and over again. It’s funny, because right before the new year, I found an old article that I cut out a few months ago that spoke about the importance of taking time off for yourself. The universe was sending me a message, the same one again! LOL I have felt so good when it came to doing something fun, relaxing, or taking on a new hobby. If I’m feeling like a million bucks, than everything and everyone around me will benefit as well.

  137. Hi Kris! I just heard a song this morning that brought me right back to this blog of yours. “N-O Is My New YES” by Karen Drucker on her album All About Love. Love, Light and Laughter!

  138. LOVE YOU

  139. hi Kris,

    I often find that immediately after I utter the words, “I’m sorry”, I’m sorry. I can feel my power draining right out of my soul. When I stop and take a breath and take stock of my motivations, it’s often, at least for me, born and bred of my own expectations of others in some way. What I mean is that I, more often than I’d like to admit, say I’m sorry as a way of extending some pseudo olive branch (because I’m very uncomfortable with discord of any kind) and hoping/expecting to defuse whatever it is that’s going on and/or be thought of as a “nice” person.
    When my kids were young they both played basketball. The boys played the same game as the girls with the same amount of physicality but I can’t even begin to tell you how many times during the girls game, while they were passing my seat court side, I heard them say “I’m sorry” to one another. We girls learn, at a very early age, that being apologetic is a sweet and endearing quality in spite of the fact that we often have to dim the wattage of our very souls to do it.
    Every single time you tell on yourself, Kris, you are making it safe and possible for the rest of us to look at these things with an open heart and the knowledge that we are in good company.
    I will take a deep breath all week before I say Thank You, Yes or I’m sorry.
    with so much love and gratitude,

  140. Just what I needed to hear. I have a deep-rooted need to be happy and to be of clear conscience and mind, too. Unfortunately, I am in a hump situation where my humps keep humping and multiplying. I’m getting ready to say “no”– which for me is saying “yes” to something better but I am definitely afraid.

  141. Well said. Really! And I love your website.

    What I’ve learned over the decades is that sometimes doing the right thing means others will feel a bit hurt. As long as I remain true to myself it all works out. Avoiding future resentments means honoring what my spirit is calling me to do, say or act upon.

    That means even when loved ones put the power pressure on, I need to check in, tune in, and respond from my right self. There is no deeper pain than that which comes from caving to a loved ones manipulation only to be hurt later. Yep — the hardest lesson was this one. That is the kind of betrayal that is hardest to accept but learning to break the betrayal bonds begins once we start to honor ourself.

    Thanks for a great article.

  142. This is awesome – I can totally relate! I’m so glad I found you via Marie Forleo’s “Start the right business” PDF.

  143. My minister has taught me that whatever you say after I am is very powerful, so I seldom say the s word. I do say that I have learned and will do better, etc.

  144. Hi Kris!!! I’m so happy you wrote this article. It was very timely (for other as well I’m sure). I have been going through a very difficult time and I have to say that every time I click onto your website your smile makes me smile, so that lady was VERY wrong. :) I think you seem to be one of the most genuine people out there…you are so uplifting but your honesty is also very refreshing and inspiring on it’s own. I love it when you share stories about “oops” moments. It makes you seem like a very enlightened, but still human friend I can call up. Not really…I won’t really call you. :) But you know what I mean. Thank you for being you. You rock.

  145. Many thanks to thoughtful you for writing such a touching, tough-love, and wake up and smell the green juice post! I often vow to take a stand with these types of boundaries but my nature is to allow the boundaries to blur and the old me (ie doormat) comes creeping back in. I soooooo needed this right now as I am dealing with an acquaintance that is one of those black holes of neediness and no matter how much of myself I give, it’s never enough. Thanks Kris!

  146. Yes..guilty on all accounts. I noticed that about me recently and you are right, it makes me feel bad not good. I have been practicing the the “No Train” and it feels so good! I try to remember to think before I speak with this nod thing that I do and it helps me collect my thoughts :)

  147. México: read, think and do it! Say no isnt a sin

  148. Kris,
    Your words resonate the truth ,within your words, to myself. Thank you, Carma

  149. Kris,

    First of all, you are such a terrific writer. You have a very accessible style and voice while keeping the content relevant. I see by this article that you were also an actor and dancer – clearly you have many gifts on which to call.

    I am home taking a ‘completely bonked out’ day (not a sick day), and came upon this article. I chuckled out loud (perhaps that’s a COL rather than a LOL) as I suspected you were holding a mirror up to my life.

    Well, point taken. I needed that. THANKS so much!


  150. I’m confused about what to say instead of Sorry in situations similar to the first example. I’m a high school teacher, and I frequently do and say things that trigger my students (sometimes as basic as telling them to stop talking when I am). I truly am sorry that they feel so triggered, and I want them to feel heard and loved and validated, but I don’t want to apologize for myself. What can I say instead?

  151. Byłem ostatnio po ślubie oraz.

  152. Hello colleagues, its enormous paragraph on the topic
    of teachingand entirely defined, keep it up all the time.

  153. This is fabulous, Kris. You’ve used 5 of the ‘7 Words’ we focus on in our system – No, (Hello,) Thanks, (Goodbye,) Please, Sorry & Yes. Love “peace and proper vocabulary”!

  154. I thought you might be interested in the 7 words idea – that these simple 7 words: No Hello Thanks Goodbye Please Sorry and Yes are often misused and yet point to the most important principles for a good life.

  155. Thank you for the authentic sharing, the much needed laugh at myself, and the introspection that is bound to follow …

    As the saying goes “behind every behaviour, there’s a positive intention”. We all have behaviours that don’t serve us, and often skip over recognizing the payoff and lesson behind the behaviour. Oh the growth that could come from embracing them, re-framing them, and accepting our new empowered selves.

    Excuse me while I simmer in this inquiry for a moment LOL!

    I am thrilled to have discovered you Kris (thank you IIN)!

    Your newest (South African) fan,

  156. Brilliant thoughts, brilliantly said. I love how you mentioned our use of language (and treatment of ourselves) is part of our spiritual journey. I completely relate. The more tuned-in we are, the more balanced and authentically present we are with others. Love you!

  157. Yes! I resonate so much. I remember getting so mad at my partner when he didn’t say thank you, until I realised that gratitude wasn’t just an auto response to something.

    Our words are so powerful and these 3 phrases in particular can allow us to let go and manifest beautiful and wonderful things or leave us with that “I wasn’t being genuine, auto response because it’s polite but I now feel like I lied” hangover! Does anyone else feel like that sometimes?

    Kris, I have recently discovered your blog and love it! You are an inspiration and motivational in my life.
    Thank you.
    Love and Light,
    Jen x