'No' is enough.
No. It’s such a tiny word. But why is it so hard to say sometimes? Probably because it tends to come with some sort of baggage. ‘No, but...’ ‘No, because…’
But you know what, it’s not just a word. It’s a complete sentence. No. Just no. Period.
More often than not, we can find ourselves saying yes to plans because we feel we don’t have a ‘real reason’ not to go. Yes, we can go wherever with whoever and have a pleasant time, but if it’s not something that makes us excited in the lead up to it, why do we really need to be doing it?
F*ck FOMO. It’s overrated. If you think about it, when you have FOMO – the fear of missing out – (and I’m 100% guilty of this) it’s usually when you’re too focused on someone else’s life and not your own. If you’re ‘missing out’ on something someone else had planned, then really you’re just missing out on what they wanted to do. If it wasn’t something you originally planned to do at that time, how can you be missing out when it wasn’t yours to miss in the first place? Am I making sense? And it’s not like you can’t do it at a later date if you really wanted to.
The best thing about telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said.
Remember that time you couldn’t go to that plate-painting class because your aunty’s chicken was sick? They will. Especially when down the line you invite them to a family event and they find out your aunt’s actually allergic to chicken.
For someone who has a laughable poker-face and a tell when they lie, sticking to the truth in such situations has helped me out of a lot of potentially stressful moments, and in turn I feel less guilty for saying no.
The truth hurts you say? Only if you’re a dick about it. I’m not saying that you have to tell someone you don’t want to go to that thing because you think you’d be bored stiff and you’d rather slap yourself in the face with a frying pan – there are ways of being truthful without it being hurtful or brash.
I remember a friend once asked me whether I was going to our other friend’s little sister’s party. I said No. I could tell she was waiting for me to continue with my response, but I just carried on eating. After a deliberated pause she asked me why. I was so tired and I couldn’t think of a ‘valid’ excuse so I just said ‘I just don’t feel like it’.
I think we were both in slight shock that I had actually said that out loud, because it wasn’t generally a response we were used to hearing to that question, but she said ‘Oh’ and that was that.
In the past, I have found myself getting worked up about saying no to plans even after I’ve said no. I think to myself, ‘oh maybe I can move things around and accommodate them’.
I’m over here frantically worrying about how they’ll be upset that I let them down, but in reality, they may not have even given it second thought and have already happily made other plans! So in the end my overthinking was really just a waste of my energy…and sweat!
“Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something” – Winnie the Pooh
Sometimes we’re so busy saying yes to other people, we forget to say yes to ourselves.
It’s ok not to partake in plans you or someone else has previously made simply because you want to have time to yourself. And if you do say no to plans, it doesn’t mean you have to be doing something else instead. In today’s society, there’s a common misconception that doing nothing is a waste of time. But sometimes it’s exactly what you need. Taking time out for ourselves is not being selfish either. It’s like chicken soup for the soul.
Why do I need to be doing something all the time? It’s exhausting! Have a break. Have a KitKat. And the next time you don’t feel like doing something, just say no.