Learning to Say No

I have always been awful at saying no. I mean, I can definitely say no when it comes to things like...

"Hey Katie, do you want me to poke you in the eye?"

"Oh! Well now, that is a kind offer but NO THANKS!"

But saying no when it's just a whole lot easier to say yes is something I've always struggled with. I've noticed it a lot more recently, particularly with work. I always take on projects I don't actually want to do. I always work more days than I want to, or need to. Although perhaps that is just the part of me that thrives on straight up people-pleasing?!

Last week, three things happened that has made me ponder this subject a lot more.

Number one! My daughter won a wee art competition in school. She designed a totally badass easter egg (AGB is five and a creative delight already) and won a chocolate egg. The primary seven kids presented it to her and asked if they could take a photo...

"Ummm... no thanks!"

WHAT A CHAMP! AGB is a shy wee soul and I am not surprised that she didn't want the attention. But fuck me, my five year old self would have desperately wanted to say no, but would have awkwardly said yes and got myself into a situation where I felt shit. Yes, it's just a photo, but good grief! I praised the shit out of her and explained the importance of being able to say no and why it was so dang awesome that she did. Extra points for being a polite young thing too.

My girl! Noone fucks with this kid.

Number two! I was out with some gal pals in a rather swanky bar in Edinburgh. This is a group of absolute babes, "The Collective", that have been brought together by Hannah Taylor. Hannah is the incredible woman behind She is Fierce, a ridicuously beautiful magazine celebrating awesome women and all things creative! 

So there we are, looking all delightful and chatting absolute shite. A super tipsy investment banker lad (oh yes, he made sure to tell us/brag about his rivetting work/money) comes over and just plonks himself down in the middle of our wee group. He took a shine to Hazel (she's a babe, obvz) and continued to impress her with his swish beverage purchasing. I think we all had the same kind of expressions on our faces, something along the lines of... "Who the fuck is this dude and when will he fuck off?". 

Perhaps I was feeling completely comfortable and confident being with such a darned fine group of women? Perhaps since becoming a mother, I have been more protective and wanted to look out for the girls? Whatever it was, I politely requested that he fuck off (I actually said, "Excuse me, I am terribly sorry to interupt, but Jess and Nat are up from London and we don't see each other often. Would you mind leaving? Thank you so much. Have a delightful evening!". And off he fucked. I still feel proud of myself for putting on my big girl pants in that moment!

I think I feel like Sandra when Im out with the gals.

Finally, number three! I have been working with one of my clients since January 2015. I won't go into detail, but basically, the dude is not my favourite person. I have struggled along, dealing with his nonsense for years now. A big part of sticking with it was loyalty, but financially he's a good client to have. This weekend, I told him that I would be ending our contract at the end of June... 

Okay gang. I know that this might not seem like much, but for me, I said a long overdue, big fat NO! I will be patting myself on the back all the way to the end of June! Saying no just feels amazing! I think I'll make it my new thing. 

Right then, I'm away to study this Wanderlust article on the power of saying no, to ensure I keep at it.

- Katie 

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