Credit: Instagram / @maddybarber

Without realising it, most Singaporeans might already be well-acquainted with the effervescent Maddy Barber. Just think of your morning commute to school or the office and chances are, you’d have come across her voice on the radio. 

In a recent interview with The Straits Times, the Kiss92 FM presenter opened up on her personal life, specifically, her relationship with her daughters.

The 47-year-old is married to Wez Barber, and they have Alicia, 15, and 25-year-old Elizabeth from Maddy’s previous marriage. 

Maddy said the two young women have come to learn that there is strength in saying the word ‘no’. 

(Read also “How To Say No – And Still Win In Tricky Situations“)

“I think ‘no’ is a very important word, especially for girls to learn. And it goes beyond sexual advances, you know.”

She provided the workplace environment as an example of where one can learn how and when to say it.

“If you’re able to tell your colleagues, ‘Oh I’m sorry, I’m busy. I can’t do this. Can you get someone else to do it for you?’, you’re happier, right? It’s a sense of freedom.

(Read also “The Achieving Woman’s Guide To…Being Assertive As A Female In The Workplace“)

“You have to think for yourself rather than worrying about what others would say and always feeling obliged.”

Saying ‘no’ out loud could have a stigmatising effect in our traditional society.

Maddy, however, believes her daughters should not be afraid of doing it. There is a caveat, though.

“So I tell them ‘no’ a lot. But we have a running joke at home, ‘You must learn how to say no, except to me!'” she quipped. 

This article was first published in AsiaOne.