Did you know that you can say no to things? Even more, did you know that you don't have to feel guilty about it? I don't know if you are like me, but I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me. And in order to make that happen, I feel like I need to say yes to a lot of things. Yes to lunch dates. Yes to cover someone at a gig. Yes to go to some function I don't even want to go to. I will say yes as long as you promise to like me. That sounds really pathetic when you say it out loud but I think a lot of us do this. But guess what?
People will still like you if you say no.
You heard me right! Most people will not hate you just because you say no to them. As a matter of fact, they will most likely respect you more for standing up for what you need. And if anyone decides to hate you because you stood up for yourself, then is that really a person you want in your life anyway? I would suggest saying good riddance to that person and go hang out with your real friends. Genuine people who truly care for you will usually understand when you need to say no. And if they don't, explain to them why you are saying no. Tell them what you need.
AND BE HONEST!
This is the most important part. You have to be honest. Do not make up an excuse like you have to pick up the dry cleaning or Thursday is "shower day." Respect your friendship enough to tell them the truth and they will respect you for it.
There is another point to be made here. Everyone does not need to like you. You need stop worrying about keeping everyone else happy and start making sure YOU are. Because a miserable person cannot bring joy into anyone's life. Real happiness starts with loving and caring for yourself first. You have to first take care of you so then you have the energy to care for others.
So relax. You are not going to lose all your friends from a "no" here and there. People love you because you are awesome and they will remember you are awesome whether you are hanging out with them or you are at home taking your weekly shower. We all have different levels of commitments we can make and follow through with. Know your level and stick to it. Don't be afraid to say "no" so you can say "yes" to the things you need most.
P.S. A really great book to read about the power of saying no is "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown. I highly recommend this book for anyone who struggles with overcommitment. It is a game changer!
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