BIPOC Community Page -- Notes Pt. 4: Saying No
To finish up our first round of Talking about Notes I want to throw out some advice about how to say 'No' without rocking the boat. This is also great advice for cast and crew, and anyone who is being asked for more than they can give.
We all know that saying no is one of the hardest and harshest things we can do to friends and fam, and there are a lot of reasons why we have to say it. Let's go through some of the reason why you can't help someone with their work:
TOO BUSY - this might be the hardest one to mention without making it sound like an excuse. But this is self-care and it's important to make sure that our oxygen mask is on before we help others.
NO LONGER WANT TO WORK WITH THAT PERSON - it happens, this is a community of artists and we don't have to get along with everyone. Maybe you don't agree with their work, or you've given them notes in the past and they didn't do the work to make the changes and it feels like you're wasting your time. No need to explain, when they call and your gut rolls its eyes - it's time to part ways.
SO - Thank God for etiquette! Ms. Manners over here, right? Some of them are obvious, but classics never go out of style:
- My plate is full...
- I would encourage you to find someone better suited/who has time to help you...
- Thank you for valuing my opinion, but I'm working on my own projects/I've just been hired/I'm not able to give you the time/currently unavailable
- I'm booked until...
- In order to make ends meet, I've recently switched my reading (etc.) services to a paid program/adjusted my prices. Is that something that you're comfortable with?
I want to encourage you to make direct messages, not excuses. Folks can sniff out a lie like a fart in a car and their minds are going to race. If you have to lie to save a friendship then use the golden rule - How would you want to be let down easy?
I know all of this is harder than this post makes it sound for another reason - We are often trained from a young age to give of ourselves, or we use helping others as a way of procrastinating - This is the part of the post where I remind you that you were put on the planet for a reason, and don't you DARE deny the world your gifts. If you have work to do, get it done. NO DISTRACTIONS.
-- remember you have no control over what anyone is going to think of you for telling them no, so be honest about what your needs are than worry about how you've made others feel.
-- A wise woman told me to "Care about the friend more than the friendship" and consider telling them the truth about why you no longer want to work with them.
Who else has tricks of the trade they want to share? Does anyone have any specifics they would like broken down?