NOpe. NO. NOOOOOOo. NoooOO. No. Nah. NO.
I hate (hate HATE hate h8) saying the dreaded word… No. Saying no means:
- I might hurt someone’s feelings and I cannot stand the idea of hurting someone else’s feelings
- Saying no means I don’t care
- The word itself sounds inherently rude (I don’t know why, it just does lol)
- Saying no is selfish… someone has been kind enough to respect my opinion, or value my contribution, so how can I refuse them that? I’m not above anyone and I wouldn’t want anyone else to think that I am, but if I say no I sound arrogant, or rude, or dismissive…
- Why should I place more value on my time than someone else’s?
- Saying no makes me feel guilty and hi brain but you make me feel enough of that as it is, I don’t want you to give me anymore reasons to do so.
- People might think I don’t care but I really really do care
- Prioritising other people is less self-indulgent
- Saying no suggests I might have an opinion or a belief and well wow I don’t like having those so bye bye
- Saying no is authoritative and ha ha oh I am definitely not that
The list could go on but I think the point is coming across…
I have grown up with the ingrained belief that saying no to others is wrong, unhelpful and selfish (why brain??). I feel that others are a lot more deserving than me. They are worthy and their needs should always be placed before my own. What I want just isn’t important. To me, it is safer to always say yes.
There is power in saying ‘NO’.
We have obligations towards our family and close friends and we should be there for them when they need us, but we also have obligations to ourselves. Recently, I have begun to realise that I need to build up my confidence and begin to trust myself again. I need to find out who Emma is… I don’t want to be the ‘people pleasing, avoids confrontation at all costs’ girl who has no sense of self anymore. I want to express myself, and my opinions, and my beliefs, and my ideas, and my values, and my likes, and my dislikes, and my hopes, and my fears, and my dreams. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being inauthentic to myself or to other people.
How can anyone truly get to know me if I don’t know myself? If I refuse to recognise my thoughts and feelings??
I am not responsible for anyone else’s reaction to me. If I say no and my friends become so outraged by my audacity (to voice my opinion… imagine!!¡) that they walk away from our relationship, well, at least I was true to myself. But, I should have enough faith in my family and friends to trust that they will have a reasonable reaction, I owe them that. PLUS, hello brain but what is the likelihood of them reacting in that way anyway? A grand total of 0%, I don’t often give myself credit but I will credit my choice of friends, they’re all absolutely incredible.
By saying no, I can start saying yes to the things that are most important to me. I can pour my time, effort and energy into commitments that I truly care about.
Maybe saying no isn’t a bad thing? Maybe it doesn’t make me a terrible person? In fact, maybe (in some situations) the kindest thing I could do would be to say NO.
If I practice saying no then maybe one day saying it won’t feel so negative anymore. Maybe one day it will even empower me?
When you say no to others and things you don’t want, you are saying yes to something better – yourself.
So, to my lovely lecturers, NO I do not want to do your essay… it’s not you, it’s me… it’s self care.
… Do you reckon it’s going to work??