“Jamie, would you like anything from Voodoo Doughnuts?” Yes.
“Jamie, would you like to get some drinks after work?” Of course.
“Jamie, I’m interested in you. What’s your number?” asks the man, who I’m not interested in. Err.. umm, it’s 727-555-5888.
It’s true. I cannot say no to people. And I want to change that. I mean, need to change that.
I’ve always been the nice one. I’ve also been the type to avoid confrontation as much as possible. Perhaps even the two are correlated. I really believe it’s just easier to say yes. That way, I don’t have to see the other person disappointed if I were to say no.
Not only do I face situations in my personal life that I can’t say no to: doughnuts, beer, and men. But many times have occurred at work.
When people know you’re nice, they use this as an advantage for themselves. By being the person who doesn’t say no at work means that co-workers come to me when they need my help, especially when it involves covering his or her shift. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people. I believe in good karma as much as the next person. I, however, don’t believe in using people as a doormat.
I think I’ve already set the bar at work. They know I’m the go-to person. (This, too, can work as an advantage for me.) It’s almost like having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) who continuously cheats on you and you perpetually forgive them. If you let him or her get away with it once, they will continue because you set the bar. You let them know it was okay. (If you didn’t know, that is never okay.)
I recently had a situation happen at work. I was the last person she asked while everyone before me said no to her. It put me in a predicament where I felt obligated to say yes. This was the first time I was becoming frustrated with my current job. I felt the tears coming.
I had just come out of yoga class feeling great (and sweaty). I couldn’t wait to get home, shower, and do all those single-girl habits I have. I especially liked the idea of staying up late. After all, I was going to sleep in the next day. That’s when I received not only a text, but a missed call along with a voice mail.
Didn’t she know it was my morning off? Didn’t she know it was my morning to sleep in? Didn’t she know it was my morning to drink four cups of coffee in bed while watching The Wonder Years? Didn’t she know it was my morning to put my mind off of work, and be a vegetable in my bed? Mine, mine, mine.
I didn’t want to take her shift. But how do I say no to a person, nicely? I was trying to think of excuses. I only came up with one.
Oh, I can’t because I have an appointment. (I didn’t. Although I could have used a Groupon for a pedicure where appointments are preferred…)
How do I tell someone who has a fever that although I can take her shift, but I just don’t want to? I couldn’t say I can’t. Technically, I was physically available but mentally unavailable. Was that selfish of me? Possibly. But I always say yes, dammit! I contemplated for an hour on how I could tell her– I’m sorry, but I need to do laundry and sleep in. There isn’t a nice way to put it. So I eventually just told her that it was fine.
It happens when dealing with the opposite sex, too. He took advantage of this, and walked all over me. A stranger asks for my number, and I can’t say no. I regrettably give it to him and when he texts me telling me we should hang out, I ignore it and feel bad about it days later.
Where did I develop this can’t-say-no-thing? My mom? It has to be, right? Possibly society has instilled it in me? Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Or maybe I can blame it on the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets? (I’m a Virgo if you care.) Or perhaps it’s just inevitable when someone is too nice?
2012 is 23 days away. The time is nearing when I make resolutions that never seem to last. I’m adding something to the list anyway–I need to learn how to say no to people. I need to learn that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. Otherwise, when will I get what I want? I need to learn that I can’t please everyone. And sometimes I have to disappoint people, and turn them down.
Two days ago a co-worker asked if I could cover a class. I didn’t stress about it. I didn’t take hours to respond. I decided to be selfish and tell him the truth: No, I can’t. Incredulously, he asked why not?! I told him I had yoga to attend.
I guess it’s easier to say no when you really do have plans (or a boyfriend).