“No” is such a lovely little word. It’s a complete little sentence, and requires no enhancements from adjectives or adverbs, no explanations, no qualifiers. You would never say “Very no.” or “Quite no.”
You can’t get into trouble with the word “no”. People will always let you change it to “yes” once you’ve had a chance to think about it. “No” is a perfect first answer to any question, especially when you don’t have time to consider the repercussions. If the asker really wants a yes answer, they will ask again.
“No” will never get you into trouble. Think about your kids, and when they ask you things. Kids don’t get hurt feelings when you tell them “no”. They seem to view it as a personal challenge, and if they really want a “yes” answer out of you, they will persist in trying to get it. “No” teaches your kids resilience, fortitude, resourcefulness, and determination! All from one little word–which incidentally also gave you time to finish your cup of coffee. It’s like magic.
“No” is truly the best word in the English language, as opposed to the worst word, “should”. “Should” is an insidious devil of a word designed to undo all the good work done by “no”. “Should” is for things someone else is trying to get you to do. No one ever says “I should play more video games, or sleep late, or read for pleasure.” “Should” is pure dreariness locked up in a single word.
“Should” should be stricken from the lexicon.
“No” buys you time. “No” saves you time. “No” elegantly gets you out of stuff you don’t want to do. For a busy person, “no” is the best word in the English language. Use “no” enough, and you have more time for yes.