19.2.17

Learning to Say No

British style blog

"No". Sounds blunt, bitchy and a bit mean really. Doesn't it? Well, I think it's powerful, focused and positive (in the most contradictory way possible). But, equally, for me at least, has been difficult thing to say. But here's how I've made turning things down, or even just questioning things, easier for myself.


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I've not always been someone who's felt comfortable with turning things down, or even feeling like I could question something. I never saw myself as a 'yes' or a 'no' person. I just went along with things. My ability to say no has evolved over the years, growing with my confidence. Something I'm sure I'll write about in a blog post at some point too.

Aside from it being hard to do, saying 'no' can feel like a risk too. I turned down a job offer only a couple of months ago. A really decent job offer. For some reason I wasn't 100% certain about it. I had another opportunity in the pipeline that I knew I'd absolutely say yes to. Turned out, I got offered that job too. And accepted it. I can't imagine doing the other job now. It's easy to say in hindsight, but I'm so glad I took that risk of declining the first opportunity.

grl pwr hoody pink faux fur coat
GRL PWR hoody fromH&M

As a woman, I think we're hyper-aware of 'no' as a potential route to us looking like a 'bitch', or at least ungrateful. But really, you don't want to close doors - we've got enough closed already, right... and you also want to be true to yourself. This is so relevant when it comes to blogging. Your blog shouldn't stray from being just that - your blog. You'll decline things that aren't right for you, for whatever reason. I use the following method to turn things down, but still keep doors open. This approach suits my personality and works for me.

A shit sandwich. If you haven't heard of it before, it's worth trying. It's a pretty old school method, and you're probably dishing out shit sandwiches every day without even realising it. #scatterthemsarnies. And WOAH... if you think I actually mean poop between some Warburtons, hold up.

Basically, it's a way of giving someone bad news. The shit is the 'no', or the bad news part of the conversation. And those delicious slices of bread either side are the good, or generally positive, bits. I've found it important to keep both the shit and the bread as honest as and non-waffly as possible. This ensures the other person will get your message loud and clear - so the shit isn't thoroughly disguised. I like to think I've got pretty good at these, mainly through my day job in marketing (lols).

Robyn Mayday blog House of Holland Peggy bag
Mini Bag from House of Holland

Let's go back to blogging as an example. Imagine I've just been asked to take part in a campaign for a fairly large brand. It'd mean a session with my photographer and probably spending a good few hours selecting items and creating, editing and promoting a post. I'm told there's no budget for the campaign. After weighing up the situation, I decide that I should be paid. My response might go something like this:

Slice no1

"I really love the idea and think it'd fit perfectly on my blog." Yum. Bready.

Shit

"However, I do charge £x for a post - this covers... [whatever it actually covers]. So without budget available, I won't be able to take part in this." Bad news.

Slice no 2

"Thanks for asking me to take part and let me know if you do manage to obtain budget. It'd be great if you could keep me in mind for any other suitable upcoming campaigns." Ok, that's not so bad?

I'm giving honest feedback, but also flagging my expectations clearly. I'm also not closing any doors. So, if circumstances change, we can make it work. It might be a 'risk' to turn an 'opportunity' down. But I'm staying true to my personal values. I take this approach through to work and my personal life too, in different instances. It's totally helped me be more assertive and honest (about positives and negatives).

girl power H&M hoodie
Although this method won't work for everything, it's a good starting place if you find turning things down or questioning things tricky. Or even if your want to try to get a better outcome from someone. Sometimes just saying a simple 'no', could be absolutely the right thing. I do it!

On the whole, saying 'no' has helped me take ownership over my life and to express my values. Nos can actually be really positive in provoking change, managing your life and asserting your self-assurance. Who knows, maybe you'll see me in a follow up to Yes Man soon. No Woman. Or Shit Sandwich Woman? Wait I take that back. Ergh. I don't want to think about what this post is going to rank amongst on Google *shudders*.

Do you struggle to say no? Or are you a fellow shit sarnie advocate?

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girl power H&M hoodie
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10 comments

  1. I 100% need to learn from this post- learning to say NO is something I am in serious need of! Absolutely loving this outfit.

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  2. Sometimes I think saying NO is more powerful than saying YES. No usually means you have to make another decision and often leads to having to make new plans which can be scarier but much more rewarding than saying yes and going along with something.

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland

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  3. Loved this post. The shots are gorgeous and words so true! <3 xxx

    www.lurchhoundloves.com

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  4. I absolutely love this post Robyn, so so powerful! These photographs are just stunning too, you look amazing and who knew the stairs at Rough Trade could look so dang cool ey? xx

    holljc.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Holl :) good old rough trade eh! xx

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  5. Helloooo you babe! LOVE this outfit, you look amazing!

    TINYTWISST.COM

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