Lou Ramsay Asks: What’s Wrong With Saying No?

There’s a quote I came across that I haven’t been able to silence in my head, and that I just have to tell you about. “Stop saying yes to stuff you hate.”

This sounds so simple, to stop saying yes and yet. It might be saying yes to hanging out when you want a night in, clubbing when you want your bed, going on a date ‘because they deserve a chance!’ or in any and all attempts, saying yes to please people. When we say yes, when really we want to say no, we’re doing so to please someone instead of help ourselves. We don’t put our own needs forward, but instead summon up fake enthusiasm and take part of activities we really couldn’t care less about. We decide ‘hey, this person should go before me’ instead of ‘I really need a self-care night’. Why is that?

It’s because saying no is clunky and frankly, awkward as anything because you’re turning someone down. How does that ever go well? Saying no is taking up more space, because saying no is being heard louder, when it’s going as a contrast to what another is saying. It’s rejecting someone; something that is always seen so negatively, as tear-jerk ROMCOMS will contest to. But all it is, is saying ‘nah I don’t really want too’. Even if it’s for a coffee catch up or a night in, instead of clubbing, we become filled with this fear of having done a very bad thing when we say no. A thing we will try to immediately backtrack on, or attempt to make up with promises of ‘coffee on me next time’ with a smile that’s just a tad on the strained side. We start to feel vulnerable, as we are letting what we want be openly viewed. That is terrifying, because we live in a culture that thrives off remaining as distant and nonchalant as possible. We don’t like showing we care, or what’s really going on inside our heads. Maybe you’ve promised to buy the shots on the next night out, because the guilt of no got to you too much.

We won’t say this out loud, because it sounds ridiculous to feel any sort of remorse for saying no. It’s worldly recognized that saying no is allowed. It’s recommended, because we all learn what yes and no means as a baby.  But here’s the thing.

You’ve really got to stop saying yes to stuff you hate. Really. Quit it. Quit being a people pleaser, quit going to events you don’t want to go to, quit making small chat with those people you don’t actually like. Stop it. From the moment you finish reading this, quit it cold turkey.

Do more stuff you like, take stands, say no and feel no shame in doing so. You get ahead by doing the things you want to do, not by being a lap dog.

That’s what my 2017 is going to be like. I urge you to do the same.