“Do you want to come out?”,”Do you want to come to this event?”, “Do you want to do <insert activity>”?
As people we get asked to do lots of things, and for the most part it feels amazing to actually go out and do things. Even if it’s just a meal at a new place, it can feel great to try new things, however there are times where we don’t want to go out and because of social norms and customs we sometimes feel bad saying no. I guess an alternative would be to make an excuse for not going out, but in all honesty we shouldn’t even feel the need to do that.
Going into 2019 I’ve set myself some personal resolutions and one of them is to not be in situations I don’t want to be in – this includes being in social situations I don’t feel comfortable in. Thanks to this lovely resolution I’ve said no to a lot of things, and I’ve also had a lot of people continue to try and get me to do the thing. Which sometimes is endearing because it means that people actually want you there, but there’s only so many times that you can say no until you realise that saying no shouldn’t be this difficult.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who struggle with this, whether it’s because of sheer awkwardness or even due to anxiety, social norms dictate that we’re all ‘yes’ people all the time, and those who say no are seen as ‘difficult’. When in reality sometimes we just want to do something else, or have alone time, or just don’t feel like doing the thing someone asks us to do.
I don’t get why people guilting you into doing the thing is so socially normal, but it shouldn’t be, and to be perfectly honest if someone is doing this a lot you might need to throw this person in the bin. You should never feel guilty for saying no, you shouldn’t feel like the bad guy, you’re in your rights to pick and choose what you want to do!
“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.”
― Stephanie Lahart