It’s inbuilt into the British psyche to be polite. No, perhaps even our human nature. We’re born and raised not to say no.

But why?

As Yusuf, the formally known Cat Stevens once said “from the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen”. And even though the song Father & Son was written and recorded in the 60s, there’s something ever so prevalent about that statement in 2019. Even to this day I catch out friends doing things they don’t really want to do, committing themselves to work events or friend dates they just would, well, rather not attend.

“You’re well within your rights to know your worth, and sometimes saying no might mean losing the job, but it won’t ever mean losing any respect”

Do we think it makes us a better person? Doing these things that we don’t want to do. Will it help us get to the top? Top of the work-pool, friend-pool or even gene-pool. I cannot tell you how many countless dates I have been on in the past with men who I didn’t really fancy, but I was just so worried about turning them down, or rejection itself on them or me, I just went along anyway. When it would have been far kinder for them, and for my own sanity to just say no.

Saying no in a work situation doesn’t always lead to disaster either. I know starting out, especially in the creative industry, it can seem super scary to say no or turn down an opportunity. For example, saying no to doing a discounted rate or even work for free.

You’re well within your rights to know your worth, and sometimes saying no might mean losing the job, but it won’t ever mean losing any respect.

Often a client will respect a creative who says no, more than one who frantically says yes to everything and doesn’t deliver. A simple “no, I am sorry I haven’t got the capacity in my diary to take that on at the moment” or “no, I’m sorry that’s my standard rate” never fails to disappoint, and you still remain professional, polite, and well busy – which is always a bonus!

No excuses; no “I’m busy washing my hair tonight”, just a flat NO. A no without explanation, or warrant. A no, just cos’ it’s a no – nothing more, nothing less. How right-on would that feel?

“…I have far more time and respect for people these days who say you know what, I love you but no.”

As I reach the grand old age of 27 (can you tell I am not excited about joining the 27 club?) I can feel myself becoming more restrictive with my yeses. Not giving them out quite as easily or as freely as I once did. A yes from me has to come from an honest place, a sincere place, and yes that has meant turning down opportunities and even sometimes relationships, but how many more times can I keep saying ‘yes’ at the risk to my own sanity?

When I told my fella I was writing this blog post his reaction, if not somewhat jovial, was “well, we can’t say no because it’s rude isn’t it?” But, is it really rude? Isn’t it far ruder to lie to someone’s face and pretend we want to do or be at something, that we don’t really give a shit about. Honestly I have far more time and respect for people these days who say “you know what, I love you but no.” No I won’t be going to that – and no, I don’t need to explain myself. It’s just cos’ I don’t want to”.

“What’s that feeling in the pit of my stomach? Does it feel a bit like sick-sickness thrown in with adrenaline? Yep, that’s anxiety.”

I mean, I guess there’s a certain element of feelings that come into it. Like, don’t just go off after reading this and start saying no to any Tom, Dick or Harry without thinking about their feelings first. If your decision affects someone else, other than yourself, that’s where you enter this rather muggy grey area of what I like to call ‘no-ness’. Where you have to take a 3 check-point test, to make sure you’re covered, before you say no.

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here’s Georgie Glass’ No-Ometer, that you can take forth and into the big wide world, and use to become a person who can say NO.

No-Ometer

Point One – Does saying No give me anxiety? If so, why?

What’s that feeling in the pit of my stomach? Does it feel a bit like sick-sickness thrown in with adrenaline? Yep, that’s anxiety. Just try and break down why you feel anxious. Is it because you don’t want to go but you’re afraid if you don’t you might piss someone off, or you’ll have serious FOMO?

Just check in with yourself, ask yourself “why am I feeling this way?” If you can answer your own question and come to a resolution whereby you feel happier, then go-you! But if the anxiety remains, perhaps talk to a loved one, ask them what they think. Try and break it down into baby steps, because anxiety is a bitch. I can promise you, you don’t deserve to beat yourself up over a simple no. If it’s someone you’re worried about rather than something, talk to them. They will understand, and if they don’t, perhaps they shouldn’t be in your life anyway.

Which leads me nicely on to…

Point Two – Does saying No affect someone else other than myself?

Okay, so for me this is always the biggie. It’s always easy saying no when it’s only you that’s affected, but if someone else is involved then it gets a little trickier.

If it’s something big, like you’re sick, come on now you’ve got to put yourself first. I promise you the person will understand, and they probably won’t want you there vomming all over the gaff anyway.

Same with your mental health; I know from experience, that if you’re having a bad mental health day, something you once committed yourself to can feel daunting and scary when it’s looming. Again, try and talk to the person involved, tell them the truth and be honest. If it’s someone you can’t be honest with, that’s not as easy. Try and create fallback reasons for people you can’t always be 100% honest with, i.e. networking events. This is only in case of emergency, hopefully you’re surrounded by people in your life who will understand a no accompanied by an explanation. But for those who aren’t, it is okay to fall upon the occasional white lie, as long as you’re not hurting someone in the process.

And well, if it’s just that you don’t ‘feel like it’ – I suggest you suck it up. Sometimes it’s nice to put other peoples feelings before your own, you may just go and enjoy it.

Point Three – Be at peace with your No.

Be prepared if it’s a no, it’s a firm no. Don’t be scrawling through your Insta at 2am with the crying emoji thinking “fuck, I wish I’d gone to that”. Remember your no, and why you said it in the first place. Maybe you needed some me-time, maybe you needed to focus on some work, or maybe you wanted to dance around the kitchen in your underwear singing ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’. Don’t let the green eyed monster or the guilt gremlin come a-creepin’. Whatever your reason, be at peace with it.

Does it make you selfish?
Yes, yes it does.
But, why isn’t that okay?
Maybe we should all strive to be a bit more selfish this 2019.

Disclosure – just don’t hurt anyone, or yourself in the process.

What do you think?
Do you need to start using the word no more often?
Let me know in the comments below!

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2019 ®

Somewhere between Christmas and New Year, amongst tins of Quality Street, empty bottles of prosecco and my Slimming World hopes and dreams being dashed out of the window, I made the decision to do Dry January.

Foolish decision; I’ll let you be the judge of that. Why you ask? No one, especially my boyfriend, really knows. But as the beginning of February draws in, and a new month (my birthday month) approaches, there are 3 reasons why I decided to do Dry Jan. I’m going to be bold and share them with you below, and hopefully one, if not all of these points will resonate with you.

1. As a Nation, We Drink Way too Much

Well okay, this is a very brash statement, but records show there were 339 thousand estimated admissions to hospitals across the UK related to alcohol consumption in 2015/16. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like those statistics.

Even though I’m not a big drinker myself, committing to giving up the booze for January was a big feat; I’m quite partial to the odd gin and slimline tonic after a stressful day. I wanted to be mindful of my body moving into the new year, and start as I mean to go on by putting me, my body and mind first. And with my birthday coming up there will be so many evenings full of prosecco and cocktails, I just thought it would make me appreciate it that much more after cutting out the alcohol the month before.

2. I Needed a Clear Head

New year, new me? Fuck off. It was not about that, not even one tiny bit. I absolutely hate that phrase; without going off on one, why should you endeavour to create a new you as soon as January the 1st rolls around. The only time I ever want to hear that phrase pass anyone’s lips is if they’re a serial murderer, mmm’kay?

I needed a clear head in January for my relaunch; and if that’s not reason enough I don’t know what is. I’ve had so many late nights this month fuelled by coffee and matchsticks to keep my eyes open (yes, just like Tom & Jerry), alcohol just was not an option. I didn’t have the time to donate to nights out and drinks with friends this month, and to be honest I really didn’t want to lose the next day to Captain Hangover. Instead I opted for T-total dinners with friends and cosy date nights in, and Jon got me addicted to Mario Kart 8.

3. I Wanted to Say Something, and Stick to It

Now I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I hate more than setting a resolution at the beginning of the year, and just not sticking to it. It makes me feel down on myself, and inevitably I start beating myself up about it. Well my new years resolution this year was to not set new years resolutions, instead, I’ve set goals. The first being sticking to Dry January.

I knew off the bat that there was going to be one hiccup; my brother’s 40th birthday party was the 20th of January. But instead of letting this throw me off course or encourage me to give up I just gave myself one evening off, just one evening. The very next morning I was back on the wagon, and continued on to where we are tonight, the 31st of the month. The endorphins I’ve currently got rushing through my veins is called pride ladies and gents – I am so proud of myself for saying something and sticking to it.

This is a mantra I am going to take forth with me into the rest of 2018.
Why drink if I don’t have to? But if you want to have a night off and have a drink, that’s okay too – don’t beat yourself up over unnecessary things.

I encourage you to set goals for this year like I have done, and stick to them. Allow yourself to be proud of yourself.
You don’t have to do Dry January, make it your own and good luck.

Now it’s time in our house, for a conscientiously wet February.

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®