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How I Learned To Say 'No' & Feel Good About It

Today I turned down a job offer. It was something I feel I would have been great at, and the
company sounded like an amazing one to work for, but…I would have had to relocate, the
money wasn’t right and it just wasn’t a fit for me because of various other things in my life. I
took a little road trip to the station last week for an interview and to check out the area to get
an idea of whether I’d like living there or not. I was pretty sure I’d like it though, since it’s only
a few hours away from where I currently live. The weather doesn’t vary much from what I’m
used to, home prices are similar, we all root for the Red Sox, etc. I did put a lot of thought into
this opportunity, weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided this wasn’t “the one”. Job
opportunities are kind of like dating, if you chose a job or a partner that isn’t right, you’re not
going to be happy. You’ll be investing a lot of time and effort into something that isn’t ideal for
you. The good thing about jobs though, even the non-ideal ones, is that at least you can put
that ish on your resume and use it to get the next one!
I thought I would feel relieved and motivated to go find the next best opportunity when I got
off the phone today after passing on the job, but I didn’t. I felt sad. I felt guilty. I felt bad for
the people who interviewed me because now they have to find someone else. Part of me
wanted to call back and say ‘Hey, I changed my mind, I DO want the job after all, thank you!’
Why in the world did I feel this way? I knew in my heart it wasn’t right for me! Well, it’s
because I’ve spend most of my life saying ‘yes’ just to make other people happy. I can’t recall a
time in my adult life where I’ve turned down a job opportunity. I’ve always said yes to the first
thing that came along. I do feel I’ve had some great opportunities in radio, but looking back,
I’ve said ‘yes’ to a lot of things when I should have said no. I’ve said ‘yes’ to a salary I wasn’t
comfortable with because I was afraid I would lose out on the job if I asked for more money.
I’ve said yes time and time again when asked to do something at work that I didn’t want to do
(cover a shift for someone, work a holiday, work weird hours, take the remote that no one else
wanted, accept less money than originally promised for said remote, etc.) but was afraid either
someone would be mad at me for saying no, or they would never ask me again.
I realized my inability to say no also had a large impact on other parts of my life, like dating for
example. I’m happily married now, but when I was still out there lookin’ for love, I was so
afraid guys wouldn’t like me, that I just settled for the first one that did. I didn’t feel worthy of
dating someone attractive or successful or sometimes even kind! For years, I settled for the
first guy that showed interest in me, because I guess I thought it was the only opportunity I’d
have, and you guessed it, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by saying no. Of course, I never
realized I was doing this to myself, otherwise (hopefully) I would have made better boyfriend
choices!

Finally, this year I started to really take a good hard look at myself and my life and make the
necessary changes to be the best Loren I can be. I’ve put a lot of work into not being that ‘yes’
person anymore. I have read a lot of self-help books (I have no shame in admitting that, they
can be really helpful!), done a ton of research and mostly just spent a lot of time alone learning
to be comfortable being me. It’s paid off huge in terms of growth, personal development,
building confidence and self-esteem, and actually learning to not only like, but holy crap, love

myself! I’m slowly but surely becoming a person that does what’s best for ME, not everybody
else. So yes, I feel sad/bad that this job opportunity didn’t work out; maybe something will
work out with this company in the future. However, I also feel some great satisfaction that I
said no, for what was probably the first time in my professional life, because it was finally time that I stepped up and did what was best for me.

Meaghan Taylor1 Comment