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Tiger Times

The N-word

Learn to say no

Photo by Angela Valle

Photo by Angela Valle

Story by Katie Biggar, staff writer

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In a world of gray, how are we all expected by society to be the spark of color, the protagonist, the hero in our own circle? There is so much demand and stigmatism around the idea of perfectionism and the pressure to be without flaw to the public eye. I’ve always thought of myself as living in a glass house, perfect from the outside with struggles kept locked in, tucked under the thickest rug. I’ve been raised in an environment where it’s only acceptable to be nothing short of available for others and to have an open mind to everyone’s ideas before considering my own. This being said, I have, over time, developed a speech impediment. I have found that my mouth speaks before my brain and heart have time to correlate. The word “yes” always escapes quicker than I can catch to reevaluate my own needs before considering others’ favors.

The nature of a people-pleaser, such as myself, is to be convenient to meet everyone’s needs, but I have to put my own on the back burner. Although this trait will enhance my social skills and help me develop relationships, it has also been crippling to important aspects of me establishing my values and standards. I’ve realized that giving so much of myself to the people that matter to me has blinded my personal ethics and crippled my focus.

I’ve always thought of myself as living in a glass house, perfect from the outside with struggles kept locked in, tucked under the thickest rug.”

— Biggar

Although being accessible to those who are in need of assistance is important, it is also just as important to consider your state of mind and pending responsibilities before lending your time. What I have come to realize the hard way is that mental health is critical. It’s absolutely exhausting to be everyone’s crutch in a time where you can’t even support yourself. Keeping your mind clear and workload manageable will take off unneeded stress and honestly will just make you happier. Saying no has given me a different perspective since I am now able to humbly accept it when being denied a favor of my own. Whereas I once saw those who didn’t take on the burdens of others as selfish, I can now see how illogical I was and how cool it is to feel like you have an option. So, the next time you find yourself in that awkward tug-of-war with your brain and your heart, let your brain win for once, say no.

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