As an introvert, this could very well be my motto. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out and doing things. My social calendar was especially jam-packed from age thirteen to my early twenties. These days, not so much.
When I turned 22 or 23, I went from being a busy bee social butterfly – from always needing to be in the social “loop” – to pretty much being a hermit homebody. Maybe it was all those years of non-stop social stimulation catching up to me. Maybe my true introvert self had finally had enough.
Whatever the reason, I have a tendency to operate in extremes.
So when I initially stumbled across this graphic (via @thehavenly) earlier this week, I thought, “YES! Exactly! Say no to plans this weekend! Self-care! Woohoo!”
NATURALLY as a result, I now have four separate plans this weekend, and at least three confirmed plans for next week. Say what?!
My inner introvert is quaking.
While I will likely need to decompress with a good amount of downtime afterward, one thing that really surprised me this week was the realization that I’ve actually missed having regular and authentic human connection. Yes. What a shock.
The key to regular and authentic human connection means saying yes to the things that genuinely bring me fulfillment and joy. That begins with knowing what I value, my boundaries, the kind of person I want to be, and the kind of life I want to live.
A few years ago, a trending message in the self-help world was saying “yes”! Saying yes to new opportunities, invitations, experiences, etc. These days, a lot of the conversation I see and hear is focused on saying “no”. In a society that seems to go back and forth on the subject, YOUR ability to discern when to say “yes” or “no” will be your key to happiness.
Depending on the day and context, it may serve your happiness and wellbeing to say yes to some things; other days, it may be prudent to your wellbeing and self-care to say no. This includes learning how to assert boundaries with “yes, and/but” or “no, and/but”.
When you accept an invitation, remember you get to say when, where and for how long. Only you know what it is you truly need, others may have different needs and can’t read your mind, so don’t be afraid to express those needs.
For example, on Monday, I will be going to a rock show with a new friend. The show goes from 7pm to midnight at a popular venue downtown. With my growing hours of unpaid sleep debt, and an already jam-packed weekend, my inner introvert doth protest. But here’s the thing:
- I want to get to know my new friend better
- I love music and haven’t been out to a show in a long time
- I have the opportunity to go to this show for free
- I want to let my hair loose and have some fun!
I weighed the pros and cons, and the rewards I would receive (social connection, inspiration, enjoying great music) were well worth the cost (a few extra hours of sleep and downtime). AND I know the cost is not something to be taken lightly. How I’m taking responsibility for this is by:
- Getting clear on what I need to feel healthy, happy and well next week
- Asserting my “Yes, and/but” boundaries
- Scheduling in time for very intentional downtime and regeneration between plans over the weekend, prior to going out on Monday, AND on Tuesday
My “Yes, and/but” to my friend was this… Yes! I will come, AND/BUT I will probably leave around 9 or 930 because I need to catch up on sleep. Does that work for you?
Admittedly, the response I got surprised even me. Not only was my friend okay with the boundary I was setting, he was so relaxed and nice about it! Needless to say, I think our friendship is going to develop just fine.
Are you grounded in what your mind and body needs? What are you saying yes or no to this weekend?