learning to say "no"

Within society, we have created a detrimental culture of saying “yes” to everything in an attempt to live our lives to the fullest. However, I believe that this can do more harm than good. By having this mindset, you’re setting yourself up for feeling guilty if you can’t afford a third lunch date of the week or if you’d rather stay in than go out every weekend with your friends. Today, I am talking about learning to say "no". 

Sometimes, it’s perfectly ok to just say no. Hey, you could say no to everything if you wanted, it’s your choice. There’s so much pressure nowadays to live a certain way and I really just do not think that that’s going to help anyone. By all means, go and have fun with your loved ones, buy too many cocktails (is there such a thing?) after a stressful week and have a good time but also, don’t feel obliged to do that just because everyone else is. This is one of the most important things that I’ve learned in life, especially since starting university.

I’ve always been quite a strong willed person in that I’ll happily say no to something if I don’t want to do it, such as going out to nightclubs or anything along those lines. However, it’s frustrating for me when I want to do something but my mind just can’t deal with it that day and I have to say no and cancel my plans. It’s annoying, but it happens. I’ve learnt to put myself first and that is so vital.

The thing is with life is that there are constant expectations and as much as we try to ignore it, society wants us all to fit in a nice, neat little box where we are all the same. Does that sound healthy at all? Should we really be promoting this? I don’t think so. Life can be hard enough without always having to worry what people think about us.

I think that in the situations where you have to say no to things for reasons beyond your control such as financial worries or anxiety, it’s common to begin comparing yourself to other people; wondering why you can’t do what they are doing or why you can’t afford to buy new clothes on every trip to town. Again, it’s not healthy. We are always comparing ourselves to one another because it is so easy to just overlook our different situations, our brain doesn’t focus on the real facts and more on the fact that we are comparing ourselves which leads to negative feelings.

Learning to say "no" has been so important for me because it has made me realise that we do not have to be busy all of the time to be happy and there's nothing wrong with just taking days to yourself. Basically, it's perfectly ok to say no.

Do you feel pressurised to say yes to everything that you get invited to? How do you cope with these feelings?