Friday, 16 January 2015

Saying No // Musings

'One day, I'll find the right words, and they will be simple' 
 Jack Kerouac

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Scrolling through twitter on the bus, trying to ignore how packed it was and how close some guys armpit was to my face as he clung to a railing to avoid falling over, something was retweeted on to my time line that caught my attention. I should have taken a screenshot of it but the gist of the tweet was:

'Learn to say no. Without explaining yourself after. No. Just no. Because no.'

And, let me tell you guys, this is so hard to do.  I always think that the word 'no' needs to be followed by an explanation as to why. And in some situations this may be the case. But sometimes, if you don't feel like doing something, a suitable explanation as to why might be hard to come by and that is ok. 'Not right now' and 'no thank you' are perfectly fine as complete sentences and can be used in a number of situations - at work, with friends, with a guy.

At work
Not wanting to get involved with something or if you are too busy to even think about taking on any extra work are probably the biggest reasons that you would want to decline work. I know that at work this might seem pretty hard to do, especially if you are new to the company or you are at a trainee position, declining work does not paint a great first impression. But if there comes a time where extra work would prove to be a detriment to your health, causing stress and exhaustion, then saying 'no' becomes a necessity you can't escape. Valuing your time and understanding your priorities are important and a courteous 'not right now' or offering a solution/different contribution is a great way to do this without offending.

With friends & family
Spending time with friends and family is great. Obviously. Making memories, telling stories and just laughing till it hurts are things every single person has the opportunity to enjoy. But sometimes, you need some 'me time', you know?? Saying no to a meet up date but offering an alternative date is a great way to balance it out. And besides, sometimes you don't even have to explain your 'no' - that's the great thing about friendships, they are understanding and empathetic if you're just having 'one of those days'.

With a guy
Ever been approached by a guy and the words 'no, sorry, I have a boyfriend' naturally fall out of your mouth? Yep, same. Regardless of whether or not you do have a boyfriend, this sentence is pretty standard in avoiding followup attention. It pretty much translates to 'I would love to give you my number, but because I have a boyfriend and I'm not the cheating type, I am forced to decline your offer. Gutted.' Which is wrong in all kinds of ways but the bottom line - 'No' is sufficient and 'no' is a complete sentence.  Buuuut obviously we don't live in a perfect world and you get the guys who are annoyingly persistent, even when they can see that you are uncomfortable and unwilling to engage in conversation. But with getting into the habit of putting weight behind a 'no' and not following it up with a reason, after a while, the guys gotta accept reality, right?? Or you could just do The Face and hope it will scare him away.

I think that saying 'Yes' and saying 'No' to things are two important lessons to learn - you don't want to cut things off without ever seeing what opportunities may come your way, but at the same time, you don't want to exhaust yourself by bending over backwards to accommodate for everything people ask of you or every opportunity that comes up.  After all, life is all about a happy balance.

Do you guys have any advice to offer on saying 'no'?

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  1. Really enjoying your musings ~ I find it quite difficult to say "no" at work but with time I'm sure that'll improve :)

    Liv | Queen of the Jumble

  2. Such a beautiful post and so true. We do all need to learn to say no more! xx

  3. lol interesting #armpit
    my new post here

  4. I'm really enjoying your blog at the moment, apologies for the lack of comments - I usually read them on my phone. I think it was Elton John that sang 'Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word', but really it's 'No' and particularly for women. It's sad how we've all been conditioned to work our way around the awkwardness/disappointment/potential violence that ensues after a flat 'No'.

    When it comes to saying no, the single 'no' stays with you a lot longer than all the many million yesses. I will talk to anyone about almost anything, but sometimes I just don't want to talk. A little solitary time is medicine for the frenetic pace of modern life, and besides, I'm not here with the explicit purpose of keeping everyone else happy!

    Next time I want to say no, I'll think of this post (and The Face!) and hopefully stop myself from justifying something that needs no justification!

    Great post.


  5. Some great words of advice here! It's more than ok to say no!! You've just got to have the guts to say it :)
    Paige x

  6. It's so difficult, it feels rude and I always find myself over explaining why I am saying no! However, I have no problem saying no to guys, I literally am just like no thanks but perhaps that's the alcohol that's helping!


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