The Art of ‘NO’ing

Day in and day out we interact with all kinds of people – co-workers, clients, acquaintances, friends, relatives, family. And in some way or the other, we try to keep people around us happy. Intentions aside, its just basic human nature. Share that Kit Kat with a friend, maybe run an extra report for your co-worker, put a rush on some processing for a client. Taking it one level further would be helping a friend solve his/her problems, trying to cheer someone up, give up on your gym time to help a friend get through the day. In any case, the relationship clearly dictates the lengths you would go to.

But I take a pause here and I think, how much really is important? Where do you draw the line? How important is pleasing people, keeping everyone happy? And more importantly, is it even possible to keep everyone happy? How long before you say “No”? It is important to say NO every once in a while, you can’t be expected to do everything for everyone. Bear in mind, the “best/close friends” category is an entirely different thing, these questions might not even apply there. I am talking about the daily junta you run into every now and then.  I admire people who are very clear and precise about how much they would/would not do for someone.  But I have also seen the kind of relationships they share with others and somehow I am glad, I am not made that way. Nonetheless, at times I do think I need to get better at saying NO.

Same goes for guilt trips. I have had instances where try as I may, I couldn’t cheer someone up. Earlier it would affect me too, as I would spend hours thinking what I could do to help. I wouldn’t even know the root of the problem, but maybe the selfish soul in me would just want to confirm that I am not the root cause., though I don’t think that is true. I have had a couple of people send me on guilt trips too, taking my jokes too seriously or taking something I might have said to heart. Me being the inane person that I am, meaningless jokes that I might have made a fortnight ago and completely forgotten about since, would suddenly crop up  portrayed as something serious which I shouldn’t have said. I would leave a conversation thinking I was so wrong, I shouldn’t have done that when all the while I wouldn’t even know what it was that I had allegedly said or done. But I have grown up since. If I don’t know what I did wrong, its not worth losing sleep over.

You can be mature about something, accept/admit it, see if it can be worked out, else just leave it behind. Life too’s short to think too much about something and try to please everyone. If you’re happy the happiness will spread automatically. You just do what you can in a day and hope that the others would come around eventually. Sometimes, easier said than done.

And as some of those cool quotes go:
1. I can please only one person per day. Today’s not your day, tomorrow’s not looking so good either.
2. Tell me what you need and I’ll tell you how to get along without it !

I would love to hear your views!