Don’t Learn How To Say No, Learn When To Say YES.

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.



First World Problems

We complain about the most trivial things in life. We know we do. We are so aware of this that we comment about it after complaining; “that’s a first world problem”. This term gets thrown around after moaning that the wifi on our phone isn’t working, or that there are no parking spots at the shops at that day.

These things are not worth complaining about. They are not real problems. Real problems are often the things that catch you off guard, that come around the corner so fast you never saw it coming, until it hits you so hard it completely changes the way your life used to be. They are the things that make you freeze, that turn you mute because there just aren’t words to describe how unbelievable they are.

Most of us can’t fathom real problems. I fall into this category. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go without food for even a week. I can’t comprehend the strength it takes to have a family member taken from you in the most horrific way and be able to continue on with life. I can barely think about the fact that there are people, children, the world over being kidnapped, bought, sold and traded into the most terrible forms of slavery.

I know this is depressing to think about it. For me, it is so far from my life that all these things are surely make believe. They are just what we see on television, they are the story line to a sad movie. They are not real life. They are not my life. But they are the life of others. So whenever you think your world is falling apart, try to remember there are hundreds of people who would trade with you in a heartbeat. I know that I live the most amazing, lucky, spoilt life. So many of us do. Sometimes you need to make a conscious effort to remember this. Other times you hear stories that hit home so hard it makes it impossible not to be grateful for what you have. Don’t let the latter be the only time you appreciate life.