The “One Size Fits All” Advice

“What do you write about?” “How often do you write?” “Why do you write?”

These are the most common questions I am asked whenever someone notices that I have my own website (followed by “can you write about me?” or, if we’re talking about f*ckboys “oh shit…did you write about me?”). I usually struggle with answering these, because I don’t have a specific topic that I center my posts around, and I don’t put myself on a regular posting schedule. Most bloggers are extremely serious about their calendar and genre, considering their income depends on it. Since my website was created as solely a creative outlet for me, I typically answer these inquiries with a shrug. Well, today, I’m answering them: I write when I’m inspired. Most of the time, this inspiration reaches me in one of two ways: I’ll read something that immediately sparks an idea in my head, or someone will say “hey, you should write about that” after I’ve told them a story or shared with them a belief of mine.

Today, the topic at hand is something I read, and also something a friend told me I should write about. This may be the most straight-forward, no-bullshit, easy-to-follow, one-size-fits-all piece of advice I have ever written about. A lot of times, posts I create are for narrow audiences: the timid woman, the girl with the shitty ex, the aspiring Christian, the college student, the young Republican. This one is for everyone. No matter how old you are, what stage of your life you’re in, or where you are – you need to do this.

Stop saying no when you want to say yes.

It’s that simple. How many times has someone offered you something, and you’ve declined, solely because you were being “polite”? If you couldn’t think of an instance where you’ve been guilty of saying no, you’re lying. Everyone does this, myself included. Well, not anymore. I’ve started saying yes, and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, if someone is offering you something, that means they want to give it to you. They want to buy your coffee. They want to pick you up. They want to pay for your lunch. They want to get the first round. Let them! If they could not afford to do you that favor, they wouldn’t suggest it. You will likely have the chance to repay them in the future, and you probably don’t want to spend that $3 on Dunkin this morning, so why not let the kind person pick up the tab today? Not only is this great motivation to pay it forward, but it also will make you realize the value of doing small things for others.

Why are we so accustomed to saying no when we want to say yes? Here’s the truth: we would rather say no than say thank youHow sad is that? People would rather awkwardly decline a nice gesture and head for the exit than look someone in the eye and express genuine thanks. I’m gonna be honest with you. By doing this, you are only hurting yourself. In this deal, you’re potentially losing money or time, you’re making things uncomfortable, and you are denying a nice person their good deed of the day.

You’re probably thinking but Sara, what if it’s some weird dude? And I don’t want to give him the wrong idea? Then, fine, that’s your prerogative, but I’m sure you’re overthinking things, and that ‘weird dude’ wasn’t proposing to you. He was being nice. And you don’t want to have to say thank you, so you’re creating an uncomfortable situation in your mind. And now you have to pay for your own coffee.

Think about a time you might’ve been on the receiving end of this behavior, when you genuinely wanted to do something for someone, and they politely awkwardly declined. Don’t you feel a little… weird? Like, okay, guess I won’t offer them anything again…

So, you can take my advice, say yes, and continue to pay it forward, or… you can be weird about it. Yup. That’s it.

If you’re still not sure about this whole “thank you” thing, I’ll help you out. How about “oh wow, that’s so nice of you! Thank you so much!”? Or you could hit them with the “thanks, dude, that’s really cool of you.” Or even “aw, thank you!” would suffice. If you need practice on the whole accepting-people’s-gestures thing, you could say “you didn’t have to do that, I’ll get you next time.” Or (get ready – this one’s really out there): “thank you for that!” If it’s something really extreme, take it back a couple decades and send them some old fashioned snail mail. This is my personal favorite thing to do, because I get to use my cool (or lame, depending on the type of person you are, to each their own) monogram stamp, and who doesn’t love getting mail?!

Saying no when I wanted to say yes left me poor, hungry, and awkward. Saying yes when I wanted to say yes has earned me free drinks, happy friends, and a full stomach. And now I’m a freaking PRO at thank-you’s.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading! *wink*

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