Rebels WITH a Cause
Rebel: show or feel repugnance (repugnance: isn’t that a great word? Jot it down and use it in a sentence tomorrow) for or resistance to something.
Doesn’t that sound like SUCH a bad word? Yeah, well newsflash ladies (and the very brave gents who are also reading) rebelling isn’t just an ideology for toddlers or teenagers, it is very many a time a necessary act of preservation; for something more than that oxidized silver spoon being shoved down your throat. The dreaded status quo or norm that makes other people feel comfortable about life- mostly about YOUR life.
Honestly? F-that. No matter what stage or age you are in life, isn’t it nice when you just rebel? Rebel against circumstances, rebel against the bureaucrats, rebel against yourself – for betterment. We cannot (and should not) forget what it feels like to hold the power of “No.” Real talk here- we often SUCK at saying “No”. Because of guilt, concern, empathy, fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, avoiding difficult conversations, (insert many possibilities here).
If you don’t like where life has led you to: rebel! Rebel! REBEL! Embrace the freedom of taking back control of your life and dance with its decadence. Decadent like a homemade cheesecake (not a cheesecake fan? Then insert any dessert of your choosing here – rebel, damnit!). You make that (dessert) and have at it like a child who isn’t allowed to eat all of his/her Halloween candy the same night they are collected. (Like, Hullo! I WORKED for this, Sir.)
The point I’m trying to make is this: it’s more than ok to not have to please anyone but yourself. You are the only one looking back on the mirror of your life and we have to stop apologizing for not living up to others’ reflections.
Here are some ways that will help you say “NO”, “NOT Quite” or “NOT NOW” confidently and without feeling like an asshole (bonus: people will respect you more when you’re straightforward)
When you’re invited to that 37th thing this week and you just CANT!
“Thanks SO much for thinking of me, but I have another commitment”
“That sounds really fun, thanks! Unfortunately, I won’t have the time to swing it this (insert day here).”
That project or favor you just cannot take on:
“This sounds like a great opportunity, but I have to pass this time.”
“I can’t handle the meeting for you this afternoon—I’m busy with (insert other important thing) and have a deadline I need to meet.”
“Thanks—I’d love to (insert favor here), but the timing is no good. Would you please keep me in mind for next time?” (Note: only use if you really DO want them to keep you in mind)
That guy from Office Space has reared his ugly head with his “no-shit, sherlock” ideas:
“We should absolutely reevaluate and tweak our procedures. Why don’t we put our heads together about it once (this current cycle/ project) is done?”
“That’s a great idea, Karen. Can we count on you to be the lead on that initiative?”
Offering alternatives is also a great way to say “no” in almost any situation:
“I can’t swing it, but I put you in touch with (other great person) who would be a great fit - if that’s helpful”
“I have to say ‘no’ this time around, but I would love to support you in (the future/ a different way).”