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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Stop Blaming Everyone Else!

Hannah Barnes
I recently finished reading - or rather listening to - Sarah Knight's 'You Do You'. Despite already subscribing to Knight's philosophy, or my version of, spending a few hours having my life choices affirmed by a published author was a great way to go.

If you're yet to come across Sarah Knight; the self styled anti-guru, and you're a fan of this blog, then go grab yourself a copy of her first tome 'The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck'. It's pretty epic stuff.

I've had a lot going on in my life recently; a new business, a new charity, vastly improved mental health and a fully booked diary. Seriously, my next free weekend is sometime in October, so I'd book in early if I were you.

Often, the busier we are, the less likely we are to schedule time in for things we actually want to do. Rather, we fill up our diaries with all the things we need to do. Or, to put it more blunted: all the things we feel obligated to do.

So where do these obligations come from? 

I've listened to at least 3 friends, over the last fortnight, bemoan their bad luck in being invited to a party or social event. All 3 made it extremely clear - to me at least - that they did not, under any circumstances, want to attend the annual family reunion or waste a single second of their life at anyone's baby shower. Much less, be dragged around a sweaty zoo on their only day off work, or join a book club with Tina. I mean, really Tina, have you never heard of the internet?

Not that I'm judging Tina. Nope, not one bit. I'm judging my lousy, lacking in back bone bunch of friends. Who, instead of responding to their respective invitations with a polite 'no thanks' - or taking Sarah Knight's advice of sending a great gift to soften the blow - said 'yes' and then preceded to resent the various people whose hard work and effort went into putting together an amazing egg & sperm race or bagging the bowling club for this years family fun.

When you put it like that, it's a pretty shitty way to behave. Much better, to simply decline - gift or no - and carry on with your life. You won't be eaten up by misdirected anger towards Tina and she might even discover Good Reads. Win, win.

Easier said than done? Not really. People care far less about whether or not you attend than you think. Trust me, you're just not that important when they're busy planning the most productive zoo route or stringing up bunting. Just think about it, would you rather someone silently seethed at you for having the audacity to invite them to your birthday brunch or that they simply RSVP'd 'no' and gave you one last place setting to worry over?

I don't host birthday brunches - unless you can call me eating peanut butter from the jar in my pants at 11AM, brunch - but if I did, I know which option I'd choose.

So in summary, stop blaming everyone else for your lack of back bone. Grow a pair or tits and just say 'no thanks' in the first place. The only person to blame otherwise, is you. I can't sweeten that up any. If you agree to do something you don't want to do, it is no one's fault but your own when you eventually have to do that thing.

Call it self care, call it not giving a fuck, call it what you want to. To me, it's just good sense. No one deserves to have my anger directed at them for what they perceive to be a kind offer and the only person that anger sets off kilter is me. So, why bother? Tell them no from the off and eat peanut butter in your pants instead! Then go buy Sarah Knight's book, for even more reasons to spend time in your pants...if that's your thing too.

Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.


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