I mean, it should be easy right? It’s two letters. Just TWO. I mean TWO even has more letters than NO and it has a really oddly placed W that could be tricky if we thought about it too much…..
So why is saying ‘no’ so troublesome? Well for me this has been a lifelong struggle. Anyone who knows me knows that this is part and parcel of the Lindsey Experience. I’m like the real life “I Can Do That” Catherine Tate sketch. I will do the most mundane, repetitive and thankless of tasks if it makes someone / anyone else’s life that bit easier. I also used to think that I enjoyed it. This year in particular I have been figuring out that actually, it’s not enjoyable AT ALL.
I actually shudder when I see it in magazines or self-help books. They advise just saying, “No, I don’t want to,” in response to being asked to do a task you genuinely have no desire to get involved in. I mean, that’s terrifying, isn’t it? What if the other person thinks badly of me? What if I look like a bitch? What if they hate me?
Saying ‘no’ can come in a variety of forms – “No, I don’t want to,” is what I like to call “Advanced No’ing.” It’s like the self-actualisation bit at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. An advanced no-er is an unstoppable creature. I included a jazzy infographic above because SCIENCE
I am an “Explanatory No-er.” That’s about half way up the pyramid which is a damn sight better than where I was in 2015. I am now finding it much easier to say no, although I feel the need to explain myself REPEATEDLY. Only more recently has this ended with me still saying no and not talking myself into doing the thing I didn’t want to do AND more stuff that I just offered up because I felt bad for almost saying no.
In my experience of practising saying no, I have found out that the person you are saying it to will either a) be gracious and accept your answer and things will carry on as normal OR b) they will sprout horns and curse you as they plot your untimely demise. We can all do without B’s in our lives – if this happens then I strongly advise you walk away.
This can also be applicable to how we are treated by others. If you have asked someone / anyone to stop treating you in a certain way because it hurts and they stop? Then you have someone worthy of your time. Congratulations, you have located one of the many decent humans out there.
If you tell them and they continue to do so? Then that person is not one that should have a place in your life and it is your responsibility to walk away. I know that it’s not easy, my GAWD do I know that. I know the temptation of waiting around because you hope SO HARD that this person will change. Newsflash – THEY WON’T. You are responsible for looking after YOU. It is EASY to blame someone else for making us feel bad, especially if it is true. It is also easy to play the victim, especially when we actually are the victim BUT is this something we want forever? Nothing in this scenario changes unless WE change it. I know this from gut wrenching experience on more than one occasion this year.
This week I made a complaint about the treatment I received from a nurse when I was being treated by her. I have NEVER made a formal complaint about anyone in my LIFE. I have been struggling with stress related sleep issues so I decided to speak with someone who could offer some support. She told me that “in my line of work I should know how to deal with stress,” and, “I’ll get over it.” When I got home it made me so upset to think that someone else would maybe attend her with similar issues and be told something similar. I mean, I am lucky to have friends and family around me who love and support me. Someone else might not be so lucky. If she was their last hope it would be exceptionally grim. The letter of complaint was my way of saying, “No. I don’t want that,” and even moreso, “I don’t want that for ANYONE.”
So there you have it, my thoughts on saying the N word. It’s not easy but it is beyond necessary at times. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me kNOw (see what I did there?)
Ps. I am getting better at saying No to humans but still struggling with saying No to chips. Any assistance would be gratefully received……