Do you need more Vitamin N?
What's Vitamin N, you ask?
It's the ability to say, "No."
It's absolutely essential to your good health, to your well-being and to your happiness - just as surely as all the usual assortment of vitamins and minerals are necessary for you, too.
How often do you find yourself saying "Yes" when you really mean "Oh, please, NO, I really do NOT want to do that!"? How often are you deciding whether to go through with a commitment you felt obliged to make, or to dream up some palatable excuse as to why you can't go through with it?
Oh dear, such a waste of energy, and so damaging to your own health and life on all levels because of the negativity associated with all of that.
Why is it that some of us have such a hard time just saying "NO"? Why is it that we worry about "hurting someone's feelings"?
The truth is, you can never "hurt someone's feelings." We choose our feelings and how we respond to the events and people around us. We can decide whether or not to feel happy or peaceful just as easily as we can choose to feel insulted or angry.
So forget the notion that if you tell someone "No", you're "hurting their feelings." They can be respectful of your decision - or they can take it personally. That's their business, not yours. If they truly care about you, they'll appreciate your honesty and your ability to stand up for yourself. They'll respect you for it and might even take a lesson or two from you for modelling these attributes.
Your time is precious. It's your most limited resource. Every time the clock ticks, your remaining seconds, minutes and days become that much more valuable. You can't get back time you spend on people or events that don't add anything of value to your life in some way.
Even worse is spending them on people and events that add negativity
Why would you choose to do that? Would you want that for the people you love? You ought to be at the top of that list.
Don't get me wrong; doing things you don't particularly like but doing them out of love and a desire to help someone adds value to your life. I'm talking about something else entirely.
And beware the dangerous question, "What are you doing on Saturday afternoon?". This is a common way that people begin a request for a favour or to have you accompany them to some event that they would love but you would not.
If you're someone who asks questions in this way, you might want to rethink and say, "I would really appreciate your help/company for (whatever) on Saturday afternoon. Are you available/interested?" That would be much more respectful than boxing someone into an awkward and empty corner.
When someone asks you, "What are you doing on _____?" the best answer is "I don't know, I'll have to check my calendar. Why do you ask?"
Should you feel obliged to make an excuse as to why you aren't able to attend an event that is of absolutely no interest to you, for example? No. You don't have to be interested in all the same things as anyone else. You can just say, "I'm glad you're excited about it and thank you for thinking of me. It's just not for me."
You owe it to yourself and to the people who love you to say "No" when it's what you really want to say. Self-love and self-care are two of the best gifts in the world.