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“What is your greatest weakness?” I have thought extensively about this question. Such a simple, yet incredibly difficult inquiry, that requires a daunting period of thought. After hours of self-reflection, I have finally figured it out. 

Curiosity and creativity are the building blocks of my personality. While I am extremely fortunate to have these traits, my incessant curiosity comes with a major drawback: I do not know how to say no. 

That sounds a little bit intense as I know how to say no to things; I simply do not like to say no. The word “yes” is my best friend, while telling people “no” makes me feel like a failure. I will always agree to help someone if they ask. I will schedule a meeting. I will join a club. You get the idea. The moral of the story is, I will juggle way too much because saying no makes me feel imperfect. 

I thank Chuck in Season 5 of Gossip Girl for this fatal flaw. He said, “The word is yes. I say it at anything. If an opportunity presents itself, I take it. There’s nothing I won’t try once.” This yes-man, never say no attitude sounds fun at first thought; however, this philosophy has turned me into a person who fears confrontation and is overwhelmed by guilt when I may have to utter the horrifying words, “Sorry I can’t.”

Gossip Girl screencap
Warner Bros. Entertainment

If you are like me and struggle to say no, let’s do this together. We have to stop worrying about being enough for others. Because in reality, people worry more about themselves than you saying no. Think about how many times you have been told no and how little that utterance has affected you. 

Say no when you have to. Say no when you want to. 

It is time for me to focus on myself. Maybe that sounds a bit selfish. But, that idea right there is the problem. I need to be “selfish” sometimes and put myself first. I deserve the same love and appreciation from myself, that I give to everyone else. This starts with saying no when I want to. 

 If you are also the friend that doesn’t know how to say no, together, let’s stand up to the guilt-monster in our brains; self-care truly begins with the word “no.”

Curiosity and creativity are the building blocks of my personality. Intrigued by the power of words, my interests lie at the intersection of marketing, fashion, and writing. When I work with others in the future, I want to be the person that I would be looking for as a leader. My strong interpersonal skills in conjunction with my academics will guide me on the track to not only become the mentor I seek, but also to utilize my language and imagination in order to create and ultimately inspire others to use theirs.
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