I have always been the type of person who has wanted to please others. Even when I was little, I never wanted to do anything that would make anyone feel bad or unhappy. Don't get me wrong—caring about other people is such a wonderful thing and something that I think everyone should definitely do. However, just recently, I have learned what it's like to start caring about myself. And one of the first steps to this is learning how to say no.
This was really hard for me to start doing. It began very indirectly—someone would ask me to do something or go somewhere, and I wouldn't want to. Instead of saying no, I'd come up with some lackadaisical excuse and beat around the bush until there was a mutual understanding that I wouldn't go to the place or do the thing. A lot of us are guilty of this. Assertive is a hard thing to be, and we are constantly taught the art of "letting them down easy". Well, I'm here to tell you to stop saying no. Not "maybe". Not "next time". Literally, just "no".
Put yourself first! Don't force yourself to do things that you don't want to do! There is literally no point to this! Your time is so precious and you are so deserving of all good things. Don't accept anything less than what you want, and don't settle for anything that is less than what you deserve.
Let's learn to be assertive and direct. Stop playing games. Fill the spaces that you are in with your certainty. Start living for yourself, and doing things for yourself and no one else.
It's scary being assertive, but in the wise words of Brockhampton in the song "Bleach"; "do you make mistakes or do you make a change?"
Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Be willing to make a change.