Say ‘No’ and be OK with it

If you’re like me, you allow the needs of others to take precedence over yours. You are less likely to say ‘no’ even when necessary, for fear of hurting feelings or being ‘mean’. As I age, I’m learning that saying ‘no’ is an integral piece of personal growth. This year, it’s one of my many goals.

Naturally, I dislike confrontation, uncomfortable conversations/situations, and being the bearer of any kind of bad news. That’s because as an optimist, I seek the good in people and circumstances. Thus, when unpleasant conversations need to be had, I’d rather shelve them, then mask contentment with the status quo. It’s a habit bred by my innate desire to ensure everyone else’s comfort, as if my own comfort depends on theirs.

Having this trait has made me less likely to stick up for what I want, or say ‘no’ in situations that warrant such a response. It has also made me prone to over empathizing with others even when unnecessary.

One day I went to get my hair done. The hairdresser did not do a good job, and she was not gentle. At the end of the process, I gave her a $10 tip in addition to her fee. My thought process; at least my hair was done / what would it look like for me to walk out without tipping? I didn’t want to be “that girl”. This is an absurdity that I am all too familiar with; making accommodations/justifications for people who don’t deserve it.

A lot of it comes with a need to be liked, which is ironic because not everyone will like you – some with reason, and others without. It doesn’t matter if you bend over backwards to satisfy their needs. With that in mind, you will NEVER please everyone. It is simply impossible. The one thing you can do is be the best version of yourself.

So, learn to say ‘No’ and be okay with it.

I won’t leave a tip if I didn’t get commendable service. I’m not coming to your event if it won’t add any value to my life. I will not be succumbing to any notions that surge to subdue my personal or professional goals. No stagnant jobs, no living paycheck to paycheck, no repressive suggestions, no superficial relationships, etc. In essence, there is no room for anything/anyone that/who adversely serves my advancement.

This can easily be misconstrued as selfishness, which is the opposite of this message. To be selfish, one must act solely for personal benefit, and at the detriment of others. However, the situations in your life that do not serve you positively are usually not the ones that genuinely depend on your generosity of service, time, finances, or friendship. It is easy – as a ‘nice person’ to be taken advantage of, if you don’t come to this simple realization.

Thus, know the things that add value to your life, so that you can add value to others’, and say ‘no’ to everything else. Freedom lies in establishing boundaries and maintaining no tolerance for situations that challenge them.

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