The Body’s Exam on Social Life

“When you say ‘Yes,’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘No’ to yourself.”

In a post, which I wrote two years ago, I mentioned this quote from Paulo Coelho. When the topic regarding “how people around us react when we say, ‘no'”, became one of the questions most frequently posed to Ege and I, the issue needed to be revisited.

I recently had to cancel my attendance for a particular event. I had been working long hours and didn’t even have the energy to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, much less cross to the city’s other side. And that’s exactly what I expressed. I didn’t have to suddenly attend an important meeting, no disasters befell on anyone, and I wasn’t suffering from a violent bout of the flu. No, I was just tired and needed to rest.

When I realized that this honest information was not received well, I began to think.  In the face of all the excuses that we had fabricated over the years, had we forgotten that the most legitimate excuse was simply being too tired? Whilst various experts on the topic of propriety found the mentioning of physical exhaustion to be rude, why wasn’t anyone discussing how we were committing the biggest insolence on our own bodies?

I later thought about one of my favorite quotes. “You can’t complete others and break yourself into pieces.” Friendships, relationships, moments, and memories were undoubtedly precious, but didn’t we all prefer each other’s “whole,” selves?

Before you make a decision first listen to your body. When you find yourself thinking about, “what will others say,” ask yourself “what am I saying?” Only then can you complete others whilst not tearing yourself apart.

Before I complete my post, I also want to alleviate your stress by sharing that my reason to cancel was acknowledged later on.



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

Comments are closed.