I want people to like me. Let’s face it, deep down nobody wants to be hated. This desire to be liked has often lead to saying yes too often. You know back when you worked in retail and there was always that one casual worker you could guarantee would cover for you if you needed it? That was me. Even if I had prior engagements – I’d work around them so I could help out. I’ve always had to work on knowing how to say no. While I’m getting better at it I’ve realised that this, in fact, may not be my problem after all. It’s not that I need to learn to say no more often – ‘no’ is a word that screams negativity and limitation. Instead, I need to learn who and what I say yes to.
Sometimes life really is black and white and I have come to realise that I may have been saying yes to all the wrong things.
I have been saying yes to people who don’t put enough value on my time. My time is precious and should be reserved for people who respect that, people who make plans for my time and stick to it. I have been saying yes to people on the basis that they have been in my life a long time and on this basis alone. Time does not constitute a good friendship if it lacks care and support.
I’ve also been saying no to all the wrong things.
I have been saying no to new experiences with new people or, worse still, saying yes and then wishing I could bail out last minute. I wish I could leave before I even arrive because making small talk gets annoying; I might end up getting bored; I can’t be bothered putting in the effort; I might be uncomfortable. I read these excuses back to myself and all I can think is that I am intentionally limiting myself from the possibility of having fun, meeting new friends, adding a great story to my list of otherwise rather uneventful stories.
Saying yes to new things might not always work out. While I only plan on doing this for things I actually want to try, I know that sometimes this will put me in situations I wish I could run from. If that happens then trust me, I’ll run. Call a taxi and get out of there. No one is forcing me to stay. However, saying yes to new things might just end up being the reason I meet a new group of friends or land my dream job or meet my future fiancé.
I don’t want to keep saying yes to the same things just because it’s a habit. Habits will make or break you and doing something simply because that’s how you’ve always done it is the worst possible reasoning. I want to stop the cycle and think about what I actually want. I want to say yes to that.