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I read a lot about how we need to learn to say No, especially in the form of advice for writers. Not so much to writing job opportunities (especially in the beginning), but more to family and friends and commitments that don’t benefit us and cut into our writing time.

We need to say No to others and Yes to ourselves more often.

I believe this is great advice, especially for women.

It’s almost like it’s more okay for men to be selfish jerks than it is for women, mostly because girls often find that attractive. I don’t know why. It must be some sort of defect in our reproductive hormones.

But for a woman, it’s important to be self sacrificing, selfless, kind, and polite. And once a man is married and has children, then he is also expected to be self sacrificing, selfless, kind and polite. A selfish deadbeat dad is NOT attractive in the least.

The problem is, we take it too far. Soon, a lot of women and married men don’t say Yes to their own needs at all. It’s all for others, their families and friends and the company they work for, even if it costs them personally.

While I understand some sacrifices are necessary, usually there’s a balance. Sacrifice this, and you enjoy the happiness of your family and satisfaction of a doing a good, fulfilling job at work.

But what I’m talking about are situations that hurt you and your involvement isn’t absolutely necessary to begin with. Or rather, it’s not your problem.

Like when you know that giving that loan to a friend that you care about, but know in the past that he’s bad paying back money, is a bad idea and you give him money anyways. Or when you really need time for yourself without your spouse and children, but feel guilty so you stay at home. Or the girlfriend who’s dream job is in another city, but turns it down so she doesn’t lose her boyfriend.

Some sacrifices are damaging to the soul.

We shouldn’t have to give in to the pressure of always being the polite one, the kind one, the generous one.

Or rather be those things, be kind and generous, but not at the expense of being mean and cheap with yourself.

Treat others as you would treat yourself, and likewise, treat yourself as you would treat others.

But there’s something even more difficult than saying No, which is the true topic of this post.

Saying No when it’s beneficial to yourself (but denies another what they want) is one thing and can be challenging.

What’s even harder is going back and fixing the mistake.

Of saying, “I’m sorry I agreed to do this, but I can’t. It was a mistake and I need to take it back.”

That’s much scarier.

I know cause I’m faced with that situation right now.

A part of me just wants to live with my consequences and just suffer and let it go. But I know that is just me willingly and unnecessarily creating suffering for myself when I can just solve it by confronting the issue.

Rather than worry and experience pain in the future for my mistake, I can take action and resolve it now…even if it might piss someone off, someone I really don’t want to piss off.

I keep thinking, “If only I had been stronger back then and said No.”

I can be stronger NOW and take back my Yes, despite how scary it is.

I have a responsibility to my own well-being to listen to my gut when it tells me (painfully clear for once) I’m doing something wrong and need to make it right.

This goes for everyone else out there faced with this scenario. In the end, it’s probably better for both parties. They become more self reliant and you become stronger and healthier too. It’s the first step in learning from mistakes and not repeating them.

I’m off to fix my mistake and become a stronger person.

How about you?

Anyone else done anything they regret in the past week? Is there any way you can fix it?

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