She rang the doorbell, showed me a sheet of paper with 5 questions on it and asked if I would answer them. I said yes, but this is what actually happened:
She used each of my answers to springboard into a detailed marketing pitch for her company.
After listening patiently as she did this on the first 3 questions, I rushed through the last two and said goodbye. And even though I was kind about it, when I saw her disappointed face, I felt guilty.
My story says something about slack marketing tactics, but really, I’m more interested in this:
Women have spent centuries being told that demurely whispering out a ‘yes’ to every request is why we’re on this planet. That shit goes deeeeeep, which is why even when we get better at saying no, the guilt fires still burn for many of us.
And there’s no magic pill here. Undoing eons of denial and avoidance doesn’t happen in a moment.
It happens when you repeatedly remind yourself that you’re not a bad person for saying no to someone’s request, so you can say yes to yourself.
It happens in surrounding yourself with people who celebrate your boundaries – even if you create boundaries with them.
The first step in true self care isn’t buying a new bottle of bubble bath – it’s believing that you are worthy of care at all.
It’s loving your No just as much as your Yes.
It’s remembering that whether others value your time or intent is not the point. The point is that YOU value yourself.