Learning to Say No

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a difficult time saying no. Two simple little letters have caused me to even feel paralyzed at times, overthinking and preplanning how to to avoid having to say the word altogether. I guessed it came from a place of being unsure of self, being a people pleaser and being afraid of what others may think of me if I didn’t agree with what they were asking of me.

This feeling SUCKS. Its not fun having to rack your brain for lies to avoid hurting the other person’s feelings or having them look at you differently all because you just aren’t comfortable with whatever they require from you at the time.

In the last couple of years I’ve made a list of things just like the one listed above that I didn’t quite like about myself, why I felt this way and how I could overcome these feelings that would at times become debilitating.

My answer? Attack them head on. It’s going to be uncomfortable I told myself BUT it’s necessary if I’m going to grow and move forward. Mostly, I really didn’t like feeling that someone else had that kind of power over me. As a independent and self sufficient individual, I often pride myself on these qualities that help me tremendously in my life.

So, this morning I received a message about something that I knew I wanted no parts of. I was walking Berty and my mind started to do what it does and come up lies on why I couldn’t partake. I found myself taking a deep breath and heard my own voice say, Your ass is 31 years old. There is no damn reason to be making up shit. The answers No. Not, I’m so sorry I can’t. Not, I Just can’t right now. Not, I’m busy. No. N-O. 

I found myself tense up in the face like I was about to go to war and felt my energy shift. I can be a little over dramatic at times, I admit it! But hey, maybe it’s all part of being an actor. Who knows. Truth is, I’ll do whatever I need to to get the job done. And for me if that means putting on a tough face, so be it. 

I finished up the walk and I replied to the message with the truth. Hey, thanks for thinking of me but I’m not interested. PERIOD. I found myself even typing, Thank you so much but I’m not interested at the moment. I backspaced and told myself no need to be extra, thank the person and say you’re not interested because you won’t be at another time. Period.

I felt a huge shift after I sent the message. To me, it was really revealing of the work I’ve been doing towards self growth and really being aware of who it is I am and who I strive to be. 

I often used to wonder if being a woman had to do with the fact that I had a hard time being truthful in not wanting to give of myself or my time to people or things. I’m sure there’s some truth in that because well, so often society teaches women that we have to be nurturers or caretakers and that often includes putting how we feel second.

I used to fear getting older but I embrace it with so much love now because of how little I care about things that my younger self once did. The number that defines what year I’m on helps me to say hey, I’m not a kid anymore so this shouldn’t and doesn’t matter.

As always, I’m still a work in progress but I can truly say I’m proud of the steps I’m taking to become the version of myself that I always aspired to be.