Tosin has always been this happy-go-lucky lad who takes life in a jolly good way. She hardly seems to be bothered by anything and is everyone’s friend. She loves to smile, laugh and be in peaceful co-existence with others. People really loved her and admired her.

However, one secret no one knew about Tosin is the fact that most of her nights ended up with her pillow soaked in tears. She always felt exhausted trying to please everyone and be in everyone’s good books. She felt she was always unable to say “NO” to people. While she was a friend to everyone, she felt no one was her friend. She was really sad and depressed.

One fine day, she felt she had had enough and had to start taking charge of her life in the way it pleased her and not others.

Normally, she would happily take her neighbours kids to school on her way to work. Although not the same route, she often took the pains to help just to make her neighbour happy even if it meant her going late to work.

On this blessed Wednesday morning, she got ready as usual and was on her way out when her neighbour called out to her, “Tosin, good morning. The kids are ready. I am just getting their lunch packed”.

“Good morning,” Tosin replied. “I am sorry, I won’t be able to help today.”

The neighbour felt disappointed. “But you are my only hope right now. If you had told me earlier, I would have gotten ready and taken them sooner than now since I don’t have a car,” she whined.

“Why didn’t you call me up to find out if my schedule would allow me to take them to school today? Tosin asked. “That I have been helping doesn’t mean it has become my job. My schedule can no longer accommodate this trip. I am sorry.”

The neighbour was shocked. “Tosin, what has come over you? You used to be really nice.”

“Oh! So because I can no longer take your kids to school means I am no more nice? That’s fine. I am glad you have met the new Tosin”.

She entered her car and drove off. Tosin felt really good about herself. It seemed the encounter with her neighbour just broke the jinx that never made her understand the power of saying NO. Suddenly, It felt like she had her life again and she was happy with her new self.

No more was she going to give that power to others. This is her life and she is the boss of herself. Although saying NO may not get in everyone’s good books, but she didn’t really care because, in her book, she was perfect.

Understand the power of saying no. You don’t have to please everyone to be happy. Khuana said, “You are NOT responsible for the happiness of others just as they aren’t responsible for yours. They would be happy if they choose to be regardless of your influence. Happiness is a choice.”

You have to understand that there comes a time in your life when you have to say no and mean it. “No, I can’t see you today”, “No, you can’t call me anymore”, “No, I won’t be attending your party tonight”…You have to learn to say NO. You have your own goals and aspirations. You can’t keep pushing your dreams aside in order to please others.

Don’t confuse saying no for pride or refusal to help. Help when you can but not to the detriment of your happiness. Do you think doing good grudgingly is any good? Don’t bear resentment all in the name of trying to please others. You are responsible for your happiness and your dreams too. Don’t live your life saying yes to all and no to yourself.

Saying no is not a bad thing. It only helps you draw the line between who you are and the influence of others. There is power in saying no. Explore it.

Photo Credit: Koreabridge

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