I’ve gotten myself into so many tough spots because I didn’t want to say no to someone. Not because I didn’t feel like I was allowed to or because I was afraid of what would happen if I did, but because I didn’t want to let someone down. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings or disappoint them. But then, when I agreed to something that I couldn’t follow through with, I actually did let them down, and I became anxious about it and distraught.
It’s not just that I agree to something, realize I can’t do it, let the person know, and then feel bad. Oh no. I take it a step further. After I realize I can’t do it, I hide. I completely ignore any interaction with whomever it is because I want to avoid confrontation. I’m afraid of them getting mad at me. Because I assume they are mad at me. And yes, there are other factors at play; my mental and emotional inability to just face my fear of confrontation. My extreme introvert need to not be around people. My comfortable bed.
But, knowing I probably can’t handle the pressure of the task, why do I even agree to it in the first place? Obviously, as I said before, not wanting to hurt their feelings is a big factor. But also, I have a tendency to get caught up in the moment. I get excited about the task, and instead of thinking about it or telling the person I’ll get back to them, I just immediately agree (it sounds good at the time…) and don’t think about what all it entails.
I’m just going to tell you (and myself) right now, that it is okay to say no. It’s okay to take time to really think about something before jumping into a decision. It’s okay to pass on what seems like a good opportunity at the time. It’s okay to not want to feel obligated into a task or a committee or a voluntary job that you don’t want and don’t have time or energy for. And you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it, either. But generally, what I’ve noticed, is that the people asking for your time or your energy are well-intentioned and are completely okay with you telling them no, they just need to know one way or another.
Just be careful not to use it as a reason to not enjoy and experience new things and things that make you happy.