I have a really hard time saying no to people. Like my friend Shannon (who seems to have figured out the solution before I have; see number 20), this is something I need to work on.
Whether it’s an invitation to lunch, a play date, a visit, or a favor, I really struggle with telling people no when they ask me for something I’m not interested in. Even if it’s something I really don’t want to do, it’s hard for me to let people down. It’s hard for me to tell them to ask someone else; to look elsewhere; to try again in a week.
I often feel like I owe people something even if we hardly ever interact. Even when people have done me wrong, I wind up feeling sorry or guilty or pressured to agree to things I don’t really want to do. This, of course, leads to different issues all together; I say yes to something, want to cancel, and wind up looking flakey. I get frustrated. I get mad. I get to thinking about it later and realize how ridiculous the whole scenario is.
Why do we always feel like we have to say yes? Why do we think we have to attend dinners we don’t want to go to, answer texts from people we don’t want to talk to, and forgive those who we don’t want to forgive? Why can’t we just own it and tell them no? Even if we want to say no because we don’t feel like leaving the house that day, why is this not okay?
From now on, I’m going to practice my right to turn things down. I think it’s something we all need to learn. It would probably lead to fewer cancellations in the future, less anxiety, and more freedom to do what we want…or to do nothing at all.
Which is often exactly what I want to do.