Being agreeable doesn’t mean you should agree to everything.
As students, we constantly face challenging demands. It could be an upcoming exam, friends who expect minute of your spare time, or that bossy group member who acts like a dictator. Campus slams us with unrelenting demands on a per second basis.
Not only is it unrealistic to give in to each daily demand, but by saying yes to each request thrown your way, the control you have on your life slips through your fingers. The need to say yes becomes a deep addiction.
By being a pleaseaholic, you continuously drown out the little voice inside that whispers “maybe this is a bad idea” as you take a shot of low self-esteem. Chase it with bitter guilt every time “yes” stumbles from your lips. You feel compelled to agree even though you don’t have to. The need to ‘feel among’ or ‘famz’ becomes the priority.
Enough is enough! Sober up and take control of your life.
Deji had a rough start to the semester when he almost lost a friend over a silly exam. It was the night before the test and he had just opened his textbook when he got a text from his friend asking if he could help her study. He looked down at the blank note cards and dusty book and realized then that he had two options: either to sacrifice his grade in order to help his friend, or put his needs first.
DJ, as his friends call him, has always been a pleaseacholic and that day, he went back and forth between his two options. As hard as it was to decide, he chose to say no to her and put himself first. It sucked being put in that situation but he knew it was the right choice even though it was tough to turn down a chance to help my friend.
That is the hard part about life: knowing when to say yes or no. What helped DJ make his decision was focusing on his main goal in school. His parents were sacrificing a lot to help finance his education. With that in mind, he chose to ensure his needs were met first before helping his friend meet hers.
Of course not everyone likes being said no to, and it’s best to handle the situation in an honest matter. DJ texted his friend back that night and told her he couldn’t help her study because he had just started studying himself. He told her he had snacks for studying and she was more than welcome to come over to make notes. He tried to make it a win-win scenario, so that his friend would realise he also wanted her to succeed. However, at the same time, DJ was still true to himself.
Unfortunately, by putting himself first, he had to say no to a friend and she did not take it well. It was very hurtful when his friend rejected his invitation by telling DJ he was selfish and she was through with being his friend.
Sometimes you’ll be in this kind of situation. Your friend might want you to help her plan her birthday and you’ve got a test coming. Her birthday will hold and you’ll either pass or fail based on your preparation. What do you do: make the obvious best decision for yourself and be tagged as selfish or try to please everybody and end up jeopardising your goals?
If that is how people want to think of you, so be it; just as long as it isn’t the truth. That is not who DJ was as a person. It may seem unfair when you get negative backlash after you decide to take control of your life, but it’s good to realise that if people don’t encourage you to do what’s best for yourself, then they don’t deserve to be in your life at all.
Sometimes, saying no can be the best decision you’ll make.