I SAID, “NO” — in a world where we are conditioned to not say “No”. It may hurt someone’s feelings. You’re being disagreeable…or worst of all, you’re living outside the herd.
I was invited to a gala, a big gala at a country club. Just me, not Mac. “It will be good for you to get out,” she said. I asked about what to wear, since it was for a fashion group. To discuss this, we met for lunch a few days later—me and this friend I haven’t seen in years except for a quick “look-see” on social media. However, she did tell me she didn’t look at my stuff on social media.
As it turns out, apparently I am woefully ill-equipped to go to a gala. For starters, I don’t wear the right color lipstick. Apparently pink isn’t working for me, I should wear bright coral…who knew?!? Between bites of my salad, I was dismantled like an old car.
To have full disclosure, dear reader, I must tell you that I don’t pray correctly, and when I do, it’s to the wrong God. She told me how concerned she was that I was on the way to Hell, following that up with her observation that I’ll need to do some facial exercises to release the “parenthesis” around my nose-mouth area. Note to Self——attempt to look younger for Hell arrival, and wear coral lipstick (shop for something like a tube gloss—as wax in a lipstick tube could melt down)
Also Mac will pay more attention to me if I wear florals, despite my protests that florals make me look bigger, like a cow, or elephant whose flapping skin is caught in a breeze — especially on those windy days. She’s only met Mac maybe twice, but apparently she’s an authority-of-sorts about what he likes.
I also could use a versatile $1000. black jacket to wear with everything. It needs light shoulder padding to give me shape, and she could find it on sale at around $250. Levi’s are not my best look either—I would look my best in a $300. pair of jeans which will make my back side look better. Of course they would—I would be $300. lighter in my pocket!
I excused myself to the ladies room. Upon returning, it was announced that while I was away from the table she looked at my Instagram…and, well, I’m inept there also—I add too many hashtags. In defense of my hashtag quantity I proudly stated that I attended a seminar with an Instagram rockstar from Brooklyn.
I have to admit I did play into it—I pointed out the Mariner-Blue L.L. Bean sneakers I had on, and how they worked well with my rolled up Levi’s and grey socks. When I mentioned my best dress was Vera Wang costing $31.20 at Kohl’s on sale she stopped chewing her food—there was a confused scowl—a disconnect. The look was priceless.
When asked, “Do you have a nice handbag?” My reply was, “That depends…what you consider to be a nice handbag, may be different from what I consider to be a nice handbag.” “I can loan you one,” she said as we parted ways, each saying the obligatory “How much fun we had.”
On the way home, I stopped for coffee, and chocolate. I went back for seconds on chocolate. I went for a walk— started thinking about Phebe’s Rules for “No”—which when applied properly, are an Art—when done well, achieves Satisfaction.
PHEBE’S THREE RULES OF “NO”
GROWTH: If I go will I grow as an individual, and learn to be better at something that I desire to be better at.
FUN TIME: Will it be relaxing and fun. Will I be able to be myself? Will I be accepted as myself?
MONEY: What is the cost to me verses the benefit gained.
Quietly to myself I answered “No” to all three.
A text came through a few hours later about event specifics. I graciously thanked her for considering me, and politely stated that I did not want to go. I had given it a lot of thought and this event, both preparation and anticipation—and actually showing up would deplete my creative energy, robbing the projects that I desire to spend my time and creativity on. There were texts back-and-forth. I stood fast. I checked into my intuition—Satisfaction Achieved.
I like the word “No”. It’s a POWER WORD—and now I know how powerful I can be.
I’m proud of you ! It’s a shame we have to seem like a disagreeable Scrooge if we stand for only things , events and people that only bring happiness. Sometimes a NO is a YES to all the right things only suited for us.
Phebe Phillips says
Thanks!!! It takes courage to be yourself and not be what others think you should be. I do like helpful constructive criticism, but this lunch was not that.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Warren Buffet
You made the right choice!
Phebe Phillips says
Wise words, Thanks!
Love, Love ~~P