Happiness is Sometimes Just Saying No

Posted on: Friday, November 8, 2013

Dear Amy,

Thank you. Thank you for being so honest. I absolutely loved your last letter. I feel like I really got to see you, got to know you as you were, got to experience your struggles, even if it was in a small way. Personality is so individual, as we've definitely agreed on this week, and it's so interesting to me, especially as a parent, to hear stories about raising different personalities.

I'm sure your parents thought they were doing the best for you, exposing you to all these social situations. You're right, they grew up in a time that introvertedness was not good, synonymous with disturbed. So it was a bad thing to invert inside yourself and to take time away from the hustle and bustle. It's so interesting to me that you were diagnosed ADD. (I don't even want to get into the over diagnosing of ADD and ADHD.)

I think one thing I've really learned through my upbringing, my personality, my friends personalities, Jon's personality, and now yours, is to take it day by day when it comes to Harry. I never want to make assumptions for him. I never want to classify him as strictly introverted or extroverted. He is energetic, determined, intense, and driven. But those are all subject to change.

The best thing we can do for anyone, our children, our husbands, our friends, our family, is to learn their likes and dislikes. Their character qualities. Their personalities. And understand how best to interact with them. Maybe that's over thinking it, and I'm sure Jon would say it is. But I think that's how we (meaning you and I and people like us) need to function.

I think you have grown into a wonderful young woman. Someone who is (or seems to be) comfortable in your skin in most situations. Someone who knows what you need to function. Someone who I consider to be a warm, happy, inviting person. So bravo to you for developing into this person whom I consider my bosom friend.

You ask an interesting question - what have I had to come to terms with about myself? It's made me think. I guess this is what I've come up with: I aim to please. Sometimes that is good. Most of my encounters, with friends, family, colleagues, strangers, etc. are pleasant. But over the last year or so, I've had to learn to say no. To look out for myself. There is a balance between being nice and sweet and amiable, and taking care of my mental health. I've never been good and saying no because I don't like to disappoint. But if I've learned anything in the last year, it's better to come out straight out the the gate and say "No." than to wish-wash around until the last minute and then make some excuse (legit or not). It's respectful for everyone involved to just say no when I need to.

Anyway. I love this topic. And I love getting to see this raw side of you. I hope you have a great weekend! Any exciting plans?

Your amiable friend,


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