HOW TO SAY NO

Saturday, September 30, 2017


I came home one afternoon--how funny that I call it home now--and collapsed on my bed, exhausted. At that point, I’d been going pretty hard for a week and a half. The thing about the beginning of college is that there are so many things to do that you can’t help but feel pressured to do all of them, but there are so many of them that you physically can't.


I’m used to working hard--enjoy it, actually--but that week and a half was a different kind of working hard. I’ve always been the kid to finish my homework the night before, no matter how much I might loathe doing it. I do the extra credit projects; I’m the person who does everything in group projects. But going out every night, trying to grab every chance to get free food, trying to get to know people--that’s tiring, man. Socializing is a different breed of work, and while I enjoy it most of the time, it’s also something that, like other forms of work, I need to limit. Because it’s hard, and it takes a lot to sustain.

That’s where no comes in.

For many of us, “no” was our first word, but even though we babbled it with youthful abandon while we pounded fists on our high chair trays, we learn to say it less and less as we grow older, mostly because it’s often associated with rejection, disrespect, and rudeness. But at the end of the at week and a half, after a long string of late nights/early mornings, I collapsed onto my bed and said no to another night out and, consequently, yes to sleep and sanity.

Sometimes saying “no” to one thing means saying “yes” to another, and vice versa.

So explore your options.

If you’re going to say yes, mean it and fulfill it. If you’re going to say no, let it be a strong no, not a wishy-washy one. Know what you want, and what you need, and do it.

Weigh your options, check your motives, and sometimes--just sometimes--don’t hesitate to say no.

7 comments

  1. Loved this post. :) I have of course not experienced college but making friends and trying to be social can be hard at pretty much any age. Awesome post!

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  2. nice post. this came at the perfect time for me—i was literally just struggling with this yesterday. thank you for sharing!! your words are always so well put together and powerful.

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  3. Wow, this was so brilliant! I think I need to be reminding of this a lot, usually because I can't stand to offend or make someone feel bad even though it probably won't. So this was super encouraging, thank you!!

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  4. Need to remember that no is an option.

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  5. I'm honestly the worst at this. I don't know why, but saying no is just so hard for me. So thank you for this reminder. <3

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