We all have parts of our personalities that range from endearing to grossly unattractive. For those that know me (or think that you do), you might be surprised to learn that I've always been a "yes" person. I would say yes to things even if I didn't want to do them. I'd agree to do things for other people because I kept thinking that I'd want them to do the same for me, or because I cared about the person.
Here’s the thing, and it’s an important thing… I am done being a yes person! It's like an elephant off my shoulders.
- No, I don’t want to pick you up at 3am at the airport—take a cab!
- No, I don’t want to go to your tupperware, home interiors, scentsy or any other fad parties. That stuff is overpriced and over rated. Quit inviting me or be prepared for me to show up and eat all of your food and drink all of your booze.
- No, you can't bring your weird friend to my party. He's a creep!
- No, you can’t sleep on my couch. My house is 450sq ft for God’s sake!
You see, I used to do things to be nice, but in reality, maybe I’m just not that nice or maybe I just have a more... lackadaisical approach to things now. Maybe it’s the whole reciprocity thing; I scratch your back, you scratch mine. I have no nails left from scratching! I know you shouldn’t do things expecting something in return but sheesh, come on!
Here’s a perfect example:
I was unemployed for a long, long time. I worked in an industry with really great people who I thought were supportive of me and the work that I did. I truly thought I would not have a hard time finding another job because of the work that I'd done. The truth was, only two friends sent me job postings. Two. They constantly kept an eye out for me and that meant a lot. That was when I realized that all the work that I did, connections I made, favors I pulled, resources I knew of, meant nothing. I have friends looking for work and when I see a job that I think fits them, I send it. It takes two seconds and I hope they know that when I hit send, it means I’m thinking of them and wishing them well. It’s that easy. I’ve definitely moved into the part of my life where I am going to do things I want to do rather than do things I think I should do because it'd be nice of me.
Here’s the other, equally important thing: I just don’t give a darn anymore. I would use a variation of darn if my mother wasn’t reading this, but I’m sure she is. I read Mark Manson’s article and it truly hit home with me. (Read it here) It basically talks about not giving a “darn” anymore. Why do you care about the little things? Do they really affect you that much--or at all? Are you putting more energy into caring than not caring? It’s so silly really. I’ve become a master shoulder shrugger adding the “whatever” look to go with it. Life is really just too darn short to care about the petty things.
So now you know- if I say No to something, I really do not want to do it. If I say Yes, then you should know that I really don't mind doing it at all. I guess what it all comes down to is letting go of all the crap. My mom told me a story about a man that she recently met at a party. He was super excited to go out on the lake with his sister and while waiting for a long time for her to be ready, my mom said to him, "I bet you're ready to go out, your sister sure is making you wait a long time!" He responded with, "Oh, that's ok. I am just sitting here looking at the beautiful trees and scenery."
If only we could all think like that it'd sure be a better place.