The True Implications of Saying “No”: Making Yourself the Priority
by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
For many women with PCOS, the issue of saying “no” to others is a constant internal-external battle. Many of us have mistakenly come to believe that declining or failing to commit to a request is societal taboo—that it’s impolite, harsh, or worse, selfish. I’d like to clear the air of this rumor once and for all: ladies, the truth is that habitually saying “no” when you want to say “no” is among the most freeing and unselfish things that you can do for yourselves.
Sometimes the Negative is Better than the Affirmative
One of the most valuable lessons that I can leave you with is the importance of saying “no” to others and to other things so that you can say “yes” to you. We need to create space in our lives that is dedicated to self-care, enjoyment and pleasure, and let’s be honest—if we were to look at a pyramid that depicted how we allocate our time, the “things I do for me” section could probably be located with a microscope in a miniscule section of the tippity-top. Our lives are filled with so many obligations and mandatory commitments that it’s hard to squeeze in “you time” to begin with. Why, then, do we so often feel it’s our duty to take on more than we have to if we don’t want to?
A multitude of evidence historically and quantifiably shows that people who make themselves a priority generally rank themselves as happier than those who don’t. If that’s not motivation to get comfortable with saying the big, bad, two-letter N-word, I’m not sure what is! If it helps, try to think of your happiness on a spectrum, where the more you commit to things you’d prefer not to, the further you move from your vision of overall happiness.
When it’s OK to Say “Yes”
Think of the irrational amount of time we spend trying to justify reasons for saying “no” out of illogical guilt, when in reality, we’re going about it all wrong. This scenario begs a change in mindset. Instead of validating the our reasons for passing things up, we should instead be justifying reasons for saying “yes.”
If you’re unsure where to start, here’s a tip. Say yes to the things that you feel compelled to do. Say yes to the things that make you happy, that give you enjoyment, that benefit you, that contribute positively to your health or add meaning to your life. Life is too full of things that we can’t choose to say “yes” or “no” to—so we need to make all of our other time count. Start spending more time saying “no” and less time regretting decisions. Setting boundaries is not only empowering, it’s necessary to your wellbeing, your progress, and channeling your energy into what truly matters to you.