One thing I’ve been wanting to talk about for a little while is giving yourself permission to say no….as well as reminding you it’s ok to say no….which I will, but first, I wanted to geek out a little bit.
A few days back, we went to see Jen Sincero speak and it was a truly wonderful experience. I want to do more things like that. It was a speaking/book signing event. I did take two books to be signed, but we were like number 540 in line and we’d had a particularly long few days, so while it would have been great to have a few seconds with her and get my books signed, I decided it was just not worth losing even more sleep over.
During her talk, she had great audience interaction. Dudes, she looked RIGHT at me! Several times! So amazing.
So saying no. There are lots of reasons we say no to things.
I say no to alcohol because I’m a former alcoholic. There are times when I say no to events because of alcohol. I’d say 95% of the time, I’m totally ok with being around other drinkers, going into a liquor store, or going on a getaway where I’ll be around drinkers. But there is a small number of times when I’m just not. I have a lot more to learn about myself and my drinking past that I’m still dealing with, and I just have to say no.
I say no to watching movies with nudity because I struggle with remembering the images. One of the most important things in my life is my marriage to Bret, anything that could take away from that, I fight against it. I have no problem with others watching nudity, but I know myself and my limits, so I just have to say no.
I say no to some TV shows that raise my anxiety.
I stopped watching football, mostly for time….but also because at the end of the day, my Ravens won’t win every game….so why put myself through the stress of “will they/won’t they/WHY DID YOU DO THAT?/THAT REF IS AN IDIOT!” for a few hours?
But you know most of this since I’ve blogged about it before. What I’ve found makes saying no harder is when others don’t understand why or, and I think this is the bigger reason, they don’t struggle with what you’re saying no to. I’ve found that some will never understand you. Just like I cannot understand how someone can have a glass of wine at dinner, not finish it, and not want to finish the bottle…Even being sober for over four years, I still can’t comprehend this.
When we have to spend twenty minutes finding a movie to watch that doesn’t have nudity, it can be hard to explain my reasons to those who don’t have a problem with it.
When I have to say no to seeing people or canceling a social thing because Bret needs the car for an appointment, or basically any of the changes we have to make for running a business, it can be hard to express why it takes priority.
But here’s the truth, some people will never understand where you’re coming from. No matter how many times you explain it, or try a different approach, or even hand puppets with pie charts, they just won’t get it.
So I want to remind you it’s OK to say no. I’m giving you permission to say NO. I’m also giving you (and myself) permission to let go of the worry and wish that they would understand you.
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