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When Taking Care of Your Mental Health Means Saying 'No' to Things


I have always been a “Yes” person.

Do you want to hang out? Yes.

Do you want to be on this committee? Yes.

Will you? Yes.

Can you? Yes.

Sometimes I say “yes” because I feel like I have to. Sometimes I say “yes” because I actually want to. Sometimes I say “yes” because I am afraid of the judgment that might come if I say no.

Sometimes, I say yes knowing I can’t. I end up a day later or maybe a week later, or maybe the day of, sending a text. “I’m not feeling well” or “Something came up” or [Insert other excuse here].

I don’t mean to bail. I don’t mean to be a flake. But sometimes I have to. Because if I don’t, I will be worse off. Because I just can’t handle it today. Or because, and very rarely, I just don’t want to.

Now I try to be the person who says, “Let me check” or “I’ll have to see.” I am trying to not live in the place of being flakey, but sometimes, that’s all I can be, and I have to be OK with that.

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Getty Images photo via sSplajn