Sunday 22 May 2016
I read a quote the other day that essentially said say no without explaining your decision. It struck a chord with me because I suck so badly at saying no, let alone saying no without explaining. I’m great at saying yes, and then regretting that decision shortly after making it. Brilliant at that, but terrible at just saying no. Why? Well, allow me to chat about that. Before I do go on though, I think it’s important to point out that this really is all in reference to work situations rather than friends asking things of me. Where friends are concerned, I’m generally more than happy to assist when I can, and I rarely say no to a friend. The thing about friends is that you don’t need to impress them because they generally like you for who you are, and if they don’t they’re a$$holes, and you don’t need that sh!t in your life. 😉 Thankfully, none of my friends fall into that category. I’m pretty sure they like me because I’m a self-deprecating, funny, lil fool . . . or something like that. I’ve never really asked them, and I’m not really sure that I entirely want to know why they like me . . . if they actually do. 😉
I discovered that there are many others who have trouble saying no, and although I can’t say for sure, I’d imagine that many of those people also feel the need to explain why they’re saying it when they eventually get around to saying no. So, why are so many of us so bad at saying no? It’s a simple enough word to pronounce. It’s only one syllable in length, two lil letters, and yet, along with sorry can be a very difficult word to spit out.
I can’t speak for everyone else who has difficulty saying no, but I know that my inability to say it, stems from not wanting to disappoint people, or not wanting to make things difficult for others. Yeah, I know you see the stupidity in this thought – make it easier for others, make it hard for myself. Makes no sense what-so-ever, does it? What can I say? I really don’t like letting other people down, hate it in fact, and if that means creating difficulty and hardship for myself, so be it. Never mind that other people don’t hold the same view of me that I hold of them in that they think greatly about what it would mean to place me in difficulty or let me down. Sh!t, everyone else just seems to say no and then get on with things. No second thoughts, no second guessing, just moving on.
I suspect that the fact that I have trouble saying no out of a fear of disappointing others speaks more about me than it does those people I don’t want to disappoint. I guess that to some extent, on and off, I’ve tried to rectify that issue, unfortunately, I’ve clearly been unsuccessful in the long-term. Short-term, I have been somewhat more successful . . . well, I think I’ve been successful, but because of my prior inability to say no, when I actually do say and mean it, I’m often told that I’m being aggressive.
So let me take a sidestep over to that lil issue. I feel safe in saying that because I tend to say yes, people might see me as a bit of a pushover, or more positively as a helpful type of person. Now, if you’re similar in nature to me, you’ll know that as soon as you decide to be assertive, and stand up for yourself and your rights, everyone else automatically labels you as aggressive, because they’ve never been faced with you saying no. And quite frankly, that sh!ts me as much as my own inability to say no. Am I being aggressive when I suddenly turn and say no? Absolutely not. I’m simply asserting my right to say no. Trust me when I say that you’ll know when I’m being aggressive – ask anyone who has ever been on the end of me being aggressive. There’s a distinct shift in attitude and behaviour from me being assertive to me being aggressive. I’m much nicer when I’m being assertive than when I do become aggressive. Just trust me on that.
Anyway, back to not being able to say no . . . I’ve decided that I’m going to consciously work on that whole issue. I’m going to work on saying no and not feeling guilty about it. I’m going to work on saying no and not feeling the need to explain why I’ve chosen to say no. I write all that knowing that I’ve recently needed to say no to work, and felt guilty about not wanting to take on the job in question, and felt guilty that there was no one else around to take the job, and felt guilty knowing that it put the bosses in a position where they had to find someone to fill the position. Yes, despite the fact that my stress levels were increasing, that my intuition told me it was right for me to say no because the job fell outside of my skillset, and I wasn’t comfortable with taking on the task, I still felt guilty for turning down work. That’s me all over.
On the odd occasion that I manage to get a ‘no’ out in response to a request, it’s followed up with a detailed explanation of why I said no. Why do we do that? Why do we feel the need to explain our choices? Isn’t the point of them being our choices that we don’t need to explain them? What’s wrong with just saying no?
I’d love to be one of those people who says no, and moves on, not giving a second thought to the decision. I really would. And then I wonder how that would change me. I’d probably end up being the biggest b!tch in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be the biggest b!tch in the world, but I tend to feel bad about it after the fact. But I digress . . .
I’ve made up my mind. I’m just going to say no. That’s all. No explanation. No feeling sh!tty about it either.
Wonder how long this will last?