There was a time when my favorite word used to be YES. Why? Cause i love being there for everyone around me. Whether it was a birthday party to be organized,an event to be taken care of, helping someone pack for their shifting, going with someone to the lawyers for emotional support, getting groceries for a friend cause they are too busy, picking and dropping at all hours…….etc etc etc…the list is endless. I felt good to be able to be there for all the people around me. I still do. I enjoy it immensely. i love the fact that many people think of me as their go to person.
But, one fine day between all my chores and work I was asked to do a little helping. I wont mention what it was right now, but i was too occupied to do the task as urgently as it was required(it wasn’t life or death though…). Being the YES person that i was, i DIDN’T refuse i just said i will try and do it as soon as possible. And thats exactly what i did. I got to it but a little later, as soon as i got the chance. For the next few weeks, whenever i came across this friend there was a certain harshness in their tone and a very cold vibe was given to me. I kept wondering what must’ve happened. Not being able to put a finger on it, i gathered the courage to ask them directly. The answer changed me for the better i can say that now.
They said “You’re so self involved that you couldn’t do one thing we asked you to do! Now you expect us to be normal with you? How selfish can you be? Please don’t pretend to care when you cant even help when we needed it.”
The task– Picking up a book from the bookstore. And not just any book…the harry potter book for their daughter. I seriously don’t even remember which one it was.
Now, my questions to myself were-Was this so important that they needed to change their attitude so drastically? Why was this such a big issue for them? Or am i getting ahead of myself? Am i not a good friend?
I literally went into a state of self pity and couldn’t fathom the reasons. I was doing my best. I wanted to be there for them..and i was. Then why wasn’t it enough?
After thinking about this for so long and talking about it with my other colleagues and analyzing my behavior(i often forget amidst analyzing my patients to analyze myself) i realised I never say NO. That word kind of didnt exist in my vocabulary. And the reason was i never wanted to hurt anyone. But, now in the bargain of not hurting anybody, i was being taken for granted and was the one being hurt. It was from this point that i realised that saying NO was not only important for ME but also for the other person. For ME because I am not pushing myself to the brink and for the other cause there is no false hope in their mind either.
Saying NO(politely) for things or requests which i don’t consider appropriate somehow made me feel empowered. I started having more time for the other important things in my life and the most important lesson i have learned is that your true friends aren’t the ones who will hold you responsible for receiving a fictional book a little late.
I still love being there for everyone in my life, but i have set my priorities right by learning to say NO to things that are inappropriate. I have started seeing things in a more positive perspective. Not being afraid to say NO has made me a better friend and a more honest human being. See, I am now one step closer to attaining my personal goal “Humanely Human”.
NOTE- Whenever the situation arises to say NO, please do it carefully. so as not to hurt the opposite person. And, always make it a point to make the other person feel comfortable, not uncomfortable by your NO.
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