Hey, there’s a party tonight! Sam will be there, and you haven’t seen Sam in a really long time. I’m sure they would love to see you and catch up with your life. However, you didn’t sleep well last night and you kind of just want to marathon "Parks and Rec" while searching for the bottom of a Doritos bag. Sam is texting you, asking if you're in or out. They want to start pre-gaming soon, so time is ticking down. You know that you should go out, it’s a Friday night! But everything in you is saying “no.”
So, you start making up an excuse to tell Sam, rather than just straight saying “I don’t feel like leaving my blanket cocoon tonight. Maybe next week.”
This happens so often to me, as well as the people around me. We chose to lie to our friends rather than just say no. In our minds, we think that rejecting the proposal is the biggest insult that one could dish out. In reality, saying no would make you feel so much better, knowing that you don’t have to continue the story of a lie. Why is this? Why do we feel the need to lie? Why can’t we put ourselves first?
The stigma behind that, is that putting yourself first makes a person “selfish.” The person is thought to not care about the feelings of those around them. But why? Why is this a thing that is thought? Doesn’t it make the person asking you to come out a little selfish themselves? We live in a society where saying no is unacceptable. We are thought of as lame or weak if we decide to stay in.
I think being a little selfish once in a while is healthy. Staying in on the weekend because you don’t feel like going out doesn’t make you lame or weak. Staying in and having some “you” time means giving yourself time to think. Time to breathe. Time to do something you wouldn’t do usually, or to do something that you “don’t have time to do.” Being a little selfish isn’t such a bad thing, after all.
Going out every weekend is taxing. Always being on the receiving end of a break-down phone call is exhausting. Going out with people you don’t know well is awkward. Throw all of these things together into one weekend, and you’ve got a breakdown on the way. But if you had said no to a few of those things, you could stay happy, healthy, and breakdown free! Making yourself constantly available for your friends or acquaintances may sound like a great idea when you start out, but it gets really exhausting, really fast. And once you realize that no one wants to hear about your dramas or issues, it's just not worth it.
Staying a little selfish also give you personal time to catch up on personal things. You can finally email your grandma back, call your parents, catch up on a TV show, or get back to an old hobby you used to love but “don’t have time for anymore.” Being at someone’s beck-and-call 24/7 doesn’t give much time for personal affairs, so why not stay home and have some you time?
Finally, staying in on the weekends makes going out that much more exciting! If you only go out once a month or so, you get more excited to pick out an outfit, find a place to go, and pregame with your girls. It becomes a fun treat for yourself!
As someone who has a history of stretching themselves too thin, I firmly believe in being a little selfish. When you’ve got a lot on your plate already, you need some you-time to maintain a healthy mental state. If your friends can’t understand why you don’t want to get drunk every weekend, maybe it's time to find new friends.