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Why it is Okay to Say “No”: Struggles of a Nice Girl

All my life I have been told I am a “nice” girl. I’m the kind of person that would bend over backwards to make someone else smile. I cover my co-workers’ shifts without thinking twice, I’m always trying to see the best in everyone, and I try hard to make everyone around me happy. But that’s the issue. I shouldn’t worry about what everyone else thinks I should be focusing on myself and my happiness. There are times when I don’t want to cover a co-workers shift; there are times when my friends have let me down, and there are times when I feel like people are taking mistaking my kindness for weakness. I struggle with saying the word “no” and I struggle with not helping out someone even though I know it will inconvenience me in the end. 

Being the “nice girl” has its perks. You’re the one people rely on, people feel comfortable around you to open up and people like you. However, with that being said, the nice girl is often the one that is most often taken advantage of. As I get older, I am learning more and more that it is okay not to be that nice. I am getting too old to be putting everyone else around me first when I should be my only priority and to help convince all you fellow “nice girls” out there struggling with the same problem I have listed below my top reasons why it’s okay to say no to people. 

1.        You should always put yourself first 

This is an ongoing struggle for me. I love being there for people. I will purposely go out of my way to attend birthday parties, dinners, outing, weddings, special events, etc. I don’t care how far it is, how late it is, how expensive it is or tired I am, whatever the occasion I will force myself to go out and support a family member or friend. With that being said I do have to deal with the hassle of making my own life harder. 

2.        Saying “no” is not the end of the world 

One of my biggest fears is letting someone I care about down. I secretly think that if I don’t say “yes” to everything and make it to every event, I will suddenly get uninvited to everything and my friends will forget all about me. Of course, that’s not true. Your friends will not hate you if you don’t make it out to an event. It is okay to miss out on things every once in a while. It is also okay to say no to favours you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to trade shifts with a co-worker you don’t have to, you don’t have to help with your friend’s volunteer projects if you don’t want to and you don’t have to sacrifice your days off driving your pal around town. You do not have to do any of it at all. Of course, you do it because you are a good person but just know it’s not mandatory, you are allowed to live your own life. 

3.        You can’t please everyone

I think its human nature to want to be valued and loved by those around us. We all want people to like us, we all want to have lots of friends but we have to come to terms with not everyone will love you. No matter how nice you are, no matter how many favours you do, there will be someone out there that will not like you no matter what. So, instead of pleasing everyone else just focus on you. It’s okay to be the nice one, but it’s also okay to be selfish of your time and energy.  
My mom once said to me, “While you are busy running around helping everyone out, who is helping you? Who is there for you?” 

That statement has always hit me hard because my mom has a point. It’s great to help everyone and be there for other but never allow yourself to be put on the backburner making others happy. You are just as important, and you also deserve to be your priority. 

Amneet is a 4th year communications student at Simon Fraser University. Born and raised in the city of Surrey, she loves the sound of rain, in fact she listens to rain sounds every night to help her sleep. Her favorite past times include: reading, binge watching Netflix shows and perfecting the art of sarcasm. You can get to know her more by following her Instagram: amku2500.
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