Growing up and being THAT person who would say yes to almost everyone and everything to make them happy (and not necessarily me) made me realise that not every is like that and it’s okay not to be that person. It’s okay not to say yes to everything and potentially (most probably) make someone a little disappointed. Life is life, and it comes with its yeses and its no’s, otherwise why would there be the two options from (I like my thinking here). Hence, it’s okay – and certainly not rude – to say no to people.
As I was one of those people who would say yes to someone just to make them happy and potentially put myself in a bad mood, it was hard to grasp the reality that saying no is okay. It was very difficult to understand it was maybe more important to make myself happy?
I was like “hey girl, think about yourself first, do you wanna do this?” This mentality, which sounded a lot like that actually, is what made me overcome the ‘fear’ of saying no to people. The ‘fear’ of turning opportunities and people down, for me.
My first moment of realisation to realising my issue of learning to say no had to be resolved was at University when I had a million and one things on my plate. I was trying to tackle a full-time degree, a part-time job, commuting everyday into London and god knows what else. This was then followed by all other commitments, such as committing to my blog and trying to be a social person (cos we’ve got to have our fun now and then) all at the same time. It wasn’t easy, lets put it that way. But, I pushed through and many times I had to say no to people because lets face it, I didn’t have any other choice.
I couldn’t be in three places all at one time. It’s not physically possible, although sometimes I wish it could be.
At a time in my life where I was completing my degree, I had to put that first, unless something else even more important came up. I had to turn down opportunities, even if they were good ones, because I am only one person.
What I’m saying is, at a time in your life when you can’t possibly say yes to everything, think of the most important task/opportunity and also what will make you happiest.
In those times where you do have too many things on your plate at one time and you do have an ‘um’ and an ‘ah’ moment as to whether it’s worth it, weigh up the pros and cons. If there are more cons and you think, “I don’t really need this”, then why would you say yes? Put your priorities first, the rest can wait till later.
At one point in my life (when I said yes to everything without fail) I realised I was multi-tasking so many different aspects of my life and not getting the full potential out of them.
Take this for example… doing my dissertation.
Whilst writing up my dissertation (a whole 14,000 words and a heck of a lot of research) I committed myself to daily blogging. God knows why, I’ll never know, but it made me happy. Yes, I was always busy around the clock and yes I didn’t get much sleep. But, I was happy doing that. Then when an opportunity was to come up, like a friend asked me along to a gym class that I didn’t have time for, I’d say yes. I would say yes even though I knew I had other things to be doing – like getting a degree and getting my shit down on paper ready to hand in. Even close by to my deadlines I was still saying yes to all those things I really didn’t need to do, but felt guilty (even rude) saying no.
Once my dissertation was over, once I’d handed that in, I got a sudden flood of ‘why the f*ck did you do that Meg? Why did you feel the need to put so much pressure on yourself?” It hit me like a tonne of bricks, all the tiredness, pressure and angst, like a million pound squat rack being put on my shoulders. I realised how much pressure I’d put on myself and for things that really weren’t worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still say yes to things I’m not 100% ready for or maybe not even keen on, because if I don’t try new things then I’ll never know if it is worth it. But to those things I don’t have time for or are deemed unnecessary, then screw it. I’m saying no. I don’t now say no to everything either. Obviously, otherwise I’d never do anything.
Now thinking of it, that could be good for me and I can sit and binge watch Netflix like there’s no tomorrow. No, but seriously…
I’ve just found that saying no isn’t rude nor is it unfriendly. It is necessary.
Necessary to make you happy and not feel like your running on a hamster wheel 24/7.