For as long as I can remember, I’ve always said yes. I would say yes to filling in for someone, even if I couldn’t afford the time. I would say yes to picking up the extra slack on group projects if someone else dropped the ball.
I didn’t see the line between being a good person, and being a push over. The tendency to always say yes in order to appease others stuck with me throughout middle school, high school, and well through my first two years of college. It’s something I did without thought, because if I didn’t say yes, that would mean disappointing someone. I feared that if I said no, I would come off as uncaring, cold, or bitchy. I said yes because I was afraid to say no. I said yes because I felt obligated to. However, saying yes didn’t make me happy; it made me stressed, anxious, and taken advantaged of.
There are certain things you should say yes to. If a friend needs your help, 9 times out of 10 you should help them, if it is within reason. The point of this article isn’t to become more selfish, but to maybe become slightly less selfless. While I whole-heartedly believe that we find joy and happiness in others, I also believe that we too need to find happiness within ourselves. Giving back and doing good for others does give me joy, but not when I’m overextending myself or feel obligated to. There’s a fine line, and I suppose what I’m trying to say within this jumble of words is this: stop overextending yourself, stop feeling obligated to say yes, and for the love of god don’t let the little things give you unwarranted anxiety.
There comes a point in life when you need to start saying no. For someone like me, it’s not an easy task. In fact, I’m still working on it. This past year, after feeling overextending, and emotionally exhausted, I realized that saying no to people didn’t make me a bitch. If anything, it made me a happier, more positive person. My boyfriend always makes fun of me, “You stress yourself out too much,” he always tells me. At first I laughed him off, telling him I was fine, but over time, I realized he was 100% right. I do stress myself out too much- and not over productive things! I stress myself out over overextending myself, worrying about what other people think 24/7 or how I can manage fitting in all of my commitments. As any college student knows, time management is crucial, and not easy between classes, extracurricular activities, and social lives. It’s a super stressful environment, especially when you’re worrying about things that simply don’t matter.
So, as I sit here on my comfy common room couch, watching the rain hit the window as a Lifetime movie plays in the background, I’m so incredibly thankful to be doing nothing. I’m trying not to overextend myself, to be able to say no, to not feel obligated to say yes for the wrong reasons. And you know what? I could definitely get used to it.