Most of us, by nature, find it difficult to say no (yes, based on my very scientific method of personal experience and talking to a few friends).
I was of that variety – a Yes Girl. I would agree to clean up the equipment we used in chemistry class in school, wanting to be amicable and liked. I said yes to dinner parties with people I didn’t really know, while in university in a new country, in the guise of making new friends. I raised my hand for projects which ate into my study time, as part of a student committee for foreign students, to ‘pad my resume’ (and to be liked – see the pattern?). I got roped into extra activities at work at my last job because I didn’t want to be known as that girl who said no.
I wrote an average of one guest post a week in my first year of blogging, in part to boost traffic to my blog, and in part because I just couldn’t say no. I joined linky parties and participated in blog hops when I was asked by blog friends in the early days, because I didn’t want to come off as a snob by saying no.
I couldn’t say no because I wanted to be liked, accepted, looked up to, loved, be relied on, be trusted, be the go-to-girl. I couldn’t say no because I didn’t want to hurt feelings, cause a misunderstanding, disappoint, or make someone feel rejected.
Because I said yes when I wanted to say no, I was exhausted, tapped out, guilty and resentful.
Things had to change. I started saying no.
I said no to a baby shower invitation because in the 3 kid-free hours I managed to wrangle, I chose to go for a haircut instead.
I said no to doing product reviews on this blog because I realized I was faking it til I made it. To write as yourself while raving about a product, turned out to be really, really hard. Kudos to those of you who pull this off regularly. I just can’t do it. Although I have a review on a writing resource next week – that, I found useful, so I said yes. Exception made.
I said no to many guest posts from fellow bloggers because I was all out of good writing, and I always want to put my best foot forward. I was barely doing enough good writing on my own space, and selfish as it seems, I want to save my good writing for me.
Because I chose to say no when I meant no, I feel freer, I feel more like me, I feel in control. I don’t feel guilty, trapped, or stressed.
So please understand that when I say no, it doesn’t mean I love or like you any less, or that I don’t respect you. I’m just looking after my own sanity.
Do you have a hard time saying no?
In other news, my post about the 7 deadly sins on blogging is featured at BlogHer today! Pop over, share some sparkles and love, and spread the word, could you? Would you? Thank you!