Tuesday, September 24

Learning to Say No

I'm proud to say that I have successfully turned down two things. That's right: I just said NO. It's difficult to say no. It's hard to turn something down. You know the movie "Yes Man"? Jim Carrey was, in my opinion, very brave to say no and no and no. 

Because in general, I'm an easy going person so it doesn't feel like pushoverness to be agreeable (for the most part.) But recently I was faced with two dilemmas: a job opportunity and a friendship.

The Opportunity

As you know, I completed my MBA this summer and have been on the search for jobs. About a month ago -- almost the week after I officially graduated -- my career counselor showed me a manager position for a processing company. A fellow classmate worked at the company and recommended me. Long story short, three weeks later the lengthy interview process was over and I had a job offer on my hands. Eek. 

The job paid more money. The benefits were nearly identical. The hours were shit. The company didn't have a lot of potential. My official title would advance. What to do!? I agonized as I progressed at each step of the hiring process, up until they offered me the position. And you know what? I know that at some point in my decision making crisis, I actually was a YES for the job. I rationalized that I would only stay for a year so the shitty hours would only be for a year so I could move on with a higher current salary and position. 

However, being a risk averse human and overly cautious individual, I took my time. I asked for advice from friends and family. And then I listened very very carefully to my insides, to my heart, to my own destiny.

And my self said NO. 

This is my chance to enter a field and company that I am passionate about, so that I can lend my tremendous strengths to the success of everyone around me. I am thrilled at the idea of moving on to a career, not just a job. So I turned it down and I feel great about it.

The Friendship

It's pretty rare that I lose a friend. As stated earlier, I'm an easygoing person and while it may take me a bit to initially warm up to someone, once I like you, I am a friend for life. I forgive easily and I don't ask a lot of my friends because my life is fairly drama free. Actually, most of my drama comes from my friends' lives ...

Which is exactly what happened recently. Me and my friend had been very close for a couple of years. We met randomly at a cooking party and then just hit it off. We went shopping together, watched movies, and attended lots of the same social events. My friends became her friends and vice versa. 

Unfortunately, about a year ago my friend started having problems in her personal life. I tried my best to support her -- even though I didn't morally agree with some of her choices. Our friendship began to change. We used to message every day and now it was just once or twice a week. We didn't really open up about anything real going on. Just niceties. I had been honest with her about my feelings about her choices because I thought we were good enough friends for that.

Guess not.

About a week ago I noticed that she and I were no longer friends on Facebook and she wasn't responding to my messages. I called her but no answer, no call back. She said that she would email me. And I received one of the most frustrating emails of my life.

She accused me of over-involving myself in her personal choices/affairs/life/whatever by telling the secrets she had revealed to me. This, of course, was not true. I immediately began composing a rant email in return -- citing all the reasons why she should believe that I hadn't betrayed her, why I was worthy of her friendship, why I still wanted to be her friend -- and then I realized, I didn't want to be her friend anymore.

I was sad. I cried and I still think of her often. But I decided to just say NO to being her friend. Why would I waste my time trying to salvage a friendship with someone who accuses me without cause of things that are completely not in my character to do? Honestly, if at some time in the future she regains her senses and wants us to be friends as before, I might be open to it. But in the meantime: NO, I don't want to be your friend.

So there it is -- my growth into the world of NO. It's a beautiful thing, people.

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