Saying no when you’re a “yes” person.

One thing I vowed to do this year was to take better care of myself, both physically and mentally. You see, I’m very much a “yes” person. I’m always keen to try new things, and visit new places. I love having a diary that is filled to the brim with events, social gatherings, work commitments and planned workouts, and I definitely thrive off being busy. But I’ll also confess that I’m a bit of a people pleaser. I do worry what people think, even though I wish I didn’t, and I hate the thought of upsetting people, which sometimes has me running here, there and everywhere in a bid to keep people happy, when all I really want and need is a night in with nobody but the Kardashians to keep me company.

The lead up to Christmas was crazily hectic for me. I was seriously busy with work, and there were social gatherings aplenty to attend, which would often result in me staying out until the early hours and spending the next day next to the toilet with a headache from hell. There was also just a lot going on in this little brain of mine, and saying yes to everything and everyone eventually left me feeling like absolute sh*t, and I wound up catching the flu and being bed bound for a week over the New Year period. 

It was almost the kick up the arse that I think I needed to finally admit defeat, and to accept that I can’t always say yes to everything. It reaffirmed that I really need to start prioritising my health and wellbeing over people pleasing, and I decided that it was time to start saying no to things and events that I didn’t actually want to go to. 

So, that’s exactly what I’ve done. Since January I’ve started to say no more, and there really is something truly empowering about it. There’s something pretty great about opting for a Saturday night in, where I’m tucked under freshly washed bed sheets by 10pm, rather than a night of downing unnecessary and unwanted shots at some shit, overcrowded club. There’s something even greater about waking up on a Sunday morning, feeling fresh (and admittedly a little smug) as I head to the gym while everyone else is posting sorry Snapchats about how dead they feel.

I’ve said no to nights out, no to events where I’d end up spending lots of money and am already questioning whether I want to go, no to social gatherings when I know one of my favourite gym classes is on that night. I’ve said no to unwanted alcoholic drinks whilst out for dinner with friends, no to staying out late when I really want to go to bed, and generally I’ve just ensured I put myself first sometimes. 

It’s funny because most of the examples I’ve listed revolve around alcohol, and the FOMO I used to get if I ever dreamed of missing out on a night out, that always begins with playing drinking games like the Ring of Fire and ends with me waking up on a Sunday morning wishing I’d never bothered. I feel like since the start of the year I’ve really started to prioritise the things I like to do, rather than what everyone else expects. 

Since realising the power of saying no, I’ve been really focusing on my fitness. I finally feel happy and confident in my own skin again, and I’ve pushed myself into training for a 10k run and even signed up for a half marathon in the process. I’ve had the time to be more creative, and have got back into blogging and writing, and many of my weekends have been spent wandering around Cardiff and taking pretty photos for the ‘gram (if you know, you know). I’ve started saving for my own place and any money that would usually be spent on going out and keeping people happy is now going towards a new home. I’ve made more time for friends, family and myself, and generally I feel so much happier, healthier and far more content. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m never going to say yes to anything ever again. My diary is still full of scheduled events, meetings, catch ups and things to do, but now they are events I’ve said yes wholeheartedly to, and ones that I’m really, really excited for. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s good sometimes to say no. You can’t always be the life and soul of the party, and sometimes putting your health above your hectic schedule is needed.

Lots of love. xoxo

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24 Comments

  1. Nia S
    March 2, 2018 / 11:39 am

    Oh my God, Ring of Fire. That game simultaneously starts and ends a night out for me! I'm the same when it comes to saying no. So many times I've felt bad about saying it and begrudgingly gone along with plans so I don't offend and then wake up the next day wishing I hadn't. I guess it's all about balance – knowing when to say yes and that it's okay to say no.

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Same here Nia, haha! I can't cope with it. It's definitely about balance! xx

  2. Jenny
    March 2, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    This is so true. I'm a real people pleaser too, I always have been. I made the decision to start saying no to things last year when I'd taken on way too much and I just couldn't cope with trying to do it all. It was the best decision and I've vowed not to let myself say yes to everything again and end up in that place again xJenny | Luxestyle

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:05 pm

      I think it's so important to admit defeat sometimes. Thank you for reading! xx

  3. Beautylymin
    March 2, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    You're so right – FOMO is a big thing but health has to be a priority! xxBeautylymin

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      Definitely has to come first! xx

  4. Chichi
    March 2, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Interesting post. In the past I was always a people pleaser and I was always afraid of saying no, but that meant that I was doing things to the detriment to myself and my wellbeing. Nowadays I'm not afraid to say no and establish my boundaries. Some people don't like that but those who despise me for that don't really care about me and don't matter to me anyway. At the end of the day no one can say yes to everything, it's unrealistic and unhealthy. It's good to look after number one.:)Chichichichiwrites.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      I think establishing boundaries is so important – and you're right, the people who matter don't mind, and the people who mind don't matter! xx

  5. PetiteElliee
    March 2, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Ahh LOVE this post! I am such a people please and such a yes person but sometimes it really does make you feel so empowered just to say NO!www.petiteelliee.com Ellie xx

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Yes, you're so right! Thank you 🙂 xx

  6. Shannon Boyce
    March 2, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    I totally relate to this! There is nothing worse than that feeling of letting people down by saying no….but sometimes you need to put yourself first!the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Yes you're right – thanks lovely! xx

  7. Jasmine Lauren
    March 3, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Such a lovely and relatable post! I used to never want to miss a night out and never turn down a drink, when really I didn't even want to be there or be drinking! So important to put yourself first and so no when you need to xxJasmine | http://jasminelaurenfancy.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Thank you lovely 🙂 definitely! xx

  8. Eve Johnson
    March 3, 2018 / 11:27 am

    Absolutely love this post. I relate so much to you (your mam always says I'm a mini you!!) Hehe! I definitely take on more than I can handle because I worry about letting people down, when in actual fact I should be thinking about what I actually want to do! Thanks for sharing. Have a fab weekend xxxEVE ||| haiaeve.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 3, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Oh thank you, Eve! Haha my mum has said that to me too. Have a lovely weekend xx

  9. Katie Harding
    March 3, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    I feel like people focus so much on saying yes to things and taking EVERY opportunity, that sometimes people lose sight of the fact that it's ok to say no. Inspiring piece! Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 4, 2018 / 9:34 am

      Thanks lovely – that really means a lot 🙂 xx

  10. Hannah Cornish
    March 3, 2018 / 11:05 pm

    Well done you girl, you're bossing it! It can be really hard to say no as FOMO is hard, but it's good that you're putting yourself first and looking after you! xhannatalks

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 4, 2018 / 9:36 am

      Thanks Hannah! 🙂 xx

  11. Paula Loreti
    March 4, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    I agree with everything you said! I hope you always put yourself first :)www.blossomikebana.com

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 6, 2018 / 10:04 am

      Thanks lovely xx

  12. Danielle Alexa
    March 4, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    I adore this post and I totally agree with every single thing that you have said. It is so important to put yourself first and say what you think and express how you feel openly!Danielle xxhttp://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      March 6, 2018 / 10:04 am

      Thanks so much for reading hun 🙂 xx

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