I think I’m actually quite good at ignoring other people’s opinions – about certain things. I’ve always had my own sense of style, grating personality, and my weird hipster tendencies. But I also have a high threshold for pain and misery. I mean I’ve worked as an attorney in a law firm for almost 5 years, and I lived with appendicitis for a few years.
So recently I was invited to a baby shower. And I know this makes me a terrible person, but I hate baby showers. Or at least I hate it when only women are invited to these things – as if raising children is just a woman’s job. And then you play these stupid gross games like eating baby food. And you don’t even know each other that well, unlike at bridal showers, where you might be all really good friends. And then you just talk about baby stuff and there’s often no booze!
So I went shopping for something off the registry, and I was figuring out my train ride back from a little vacation I was having so that I could make it back for the baby shower. And then it occurred to me, I don’t have to go. I could give the gift ahead of time and spend the time I would have spent at the baby shower, doing anything I wanted to do.
In 2016, I was hampered by saying yes to things I knew I would hate. I spent way too much time with people I hated, including on a 5-day vacation, where I wished every minute that I was back at work. And that vacation was something that cast a shadow and caused a strain on my whole relationship with my fiance. It would have been much easier for both of us, if I had just acknowledged that I didn’t want to go to these events.I could have done things I wanted to do. I wouldn’t have built up so much resentment. The resentment wouldn’t have caused so much anger. The anger wouldn’t have seeped into every interaction we had.
So yeah, there’s nothing wrong with saying no to stuff that you hate. I heard this great quote: “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler. Why pilot yourself into situations you hate?