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Normalize Saying No

Normalize Saying No

Vijay was out of ideas on what to write for this week’s Friday Food for Thought. One topic idea that we had (Abbey and Abbie) was to normalize saying no; just simply saying you can’t make it rather than finding an excuse as to why you can’t attend and/or apologizing for it. He felt the two of us were more passionate about this topic and suggested we guest write it.

The pandemic feels like it’s beginning to slow as more vaccinations start to roll outNormalize Saying No and spring begins to bloom. The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and you know what that means: parties, weddings, cook outs…you get the idea. Things are slowly getting back to normal! In many ways, we’re excited to see this return to normalcy, but in others we are sort of dreading it. Over the past year, neither of us have felt obligated to say yes to many events and have enjoyed choosing what we do and do not participate in more liberally. Needless to say, a lot got postponed over the past year and rescheduled for the future. Well, that future is here and as these delayed events resurface we find ourselves wanting to normalize saying no.

That may seem harsh, but how many times have you received an invitation to something you weren’t particularly excited about, but felt obligated to say yes to? How many times have you actively sought out an excuse the second an invitation landed in your mailbox? Being able to deliver a response with “I’m so sorry I can’t make it, I wish I could, but I have X,Y and/or Z happening at that time” gives many of us a sense of relief. That said, why do we feel the need to apologize and provide an excuse in order to decline something?!

The past year certainly had its shortcomings (Tiger King comes to mind immediately), but one thing that many of us realized is how valuable our time is. Of course, we’ve missed our friends and family, we’ve missed going to concerts and other events; we’ve missed physically going to a restaurant- takeout fries just aren’t the same. Yet, many of us have now realized how important our time is, however we choose to spend it.

Saying no not only gives you your time back, but it also reduces stress and allows you the opportunity to participate in things you are passionate about and prioritize. In turn, it will give the other person the ability to know that everyone at their event is enjoying themselves and excited to be there. Of course, we cannot always say no and there is the aspect of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when you decline an invitation. But the benefits of JOMO far outweigh the fears! Over the coming months, remember that your time is valuable, and there’s no need to apologize or have an excuse. Just say no.?

“I’ve learned that saying no is just as valuable as saying yes.”– Meghan Markle

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Abbey and Abbie