I hate having to decline something. Whether it’s an invitation to a party, a workout, a study session, or anything else, I just don’t like having to pass up on anything. But amidst all the many activities, opportunities, and challenges that accompany life, I’ve come to understand that it’s okay to say “no” to something. Sometimes it may even be necessary.
I’m someone who doesn’t like to let others down. Maybe more than anything else in the world, I hate the feeling that comes with knowing you failed another human being. Because of this, despite my already overflowing plate, it’s typically quite difficult for me to decline something when someone asks. Accurate or not, I can’t help but feel that I’m failing them in some way.
And while I don’t have any statistics to back this up, I believe that many people feel the same way.
But it’s important to remember that we shouldn’t fail ourselves either. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, we need to stay healthy and growing. If we don’t, and instead continue to deplete ourselves by saying “yes” and doing everything for others, we will eventually get to the point where our being there is no longer valuable. We may get to the point where saying “yes” and going/doing whatever thing could be worse than if we didn’t go at all.
This doesn’t necessarily make saying “no” any easier, but if we truly want the best for ourselves and those around us, we have to at the very least consider it. It’s hard to show up for others if you don’t show up for yourself.
With this in mind, we have to take into account what we need to sustain ourselves, and then make those things a priority. We shouldn’t say “yes” to something that can end up harming us (academically, physically, mentally, etc.) any more than we should say “no to something that could immensely benefit us. But we have to be willing and able to say both, not just the yeses. After all, both answers often help us sustain ourselves and grow as individuals.
Sometimes it’s truly okay to say “no.” Sometimes it’s even necessary.
Until next time.
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