It’s no surprise (at least not to me) that coronavirus cases are on the rise. On Wednesday, multiple sources — such as The Washington Post — reported that the United States topped its previous all-time daily high for new cases.
On top of that, the US is expected to experience a historic Saharan dust plume that could cause additional respiratory health risks and problems.
Some states in the southern and western parts of the US are operating at near-max capacity in their hospitals and ICUs.
Shit is getting real. Again. In fact, shit never got “un-real.” For some reason, several political leaders in this country (we won’t name names) decided that the COVID-19 pandemic was over. I guess the virus didn’t get the message — who knew?!
Look, people. Now is the time to start saying “no.” It’s time to grow a pair (or maybe not because I swear, that “pair” I’m referencing doesn’t signify strengthen if you ask me) and stand your ground. You know the pandemic is real. You know it’s not going anywhere. You want to protect yourself, your grandparents, your parents, your family.
It’s time to say “no,” and I will give you the playbook to do just that. Why am I an authority on this? Well, I’ve been confidently canceling plans for no reason since I was old enough to make my own plans, so listen up.
Rule 1: Don’t make an excuse; be honest about why you are saying “no.” People seem to struggle with this quite a bit. They tend to make up excuses that they think “sound good” so that they can feel better about declining or canceling plans and get togethers.
Mama Court is happy to tell you that the very, very real pandemic does not require that you hide behind some made-up BS. You are perfectly within your rights to say “Listen — I don’t feel comfortable because it’s indoors/in a crowded area/in a location where cases are spiking. And for that reason, I’m out.”
Yes; go Lori Greiner on their asses! Confidently look at people who are nagging you or guilting you about going to some kind of peopl-y function, and shut them down.
Rule 2: Remember that you’re not responsible for making other people happy. I said what I said. You are responsible for keeping yourself + your family safe and sound. If someone is bummed out because of your cancellation, let that person be bummed out.
Let me repeat this: You. Are. Not. Responsible. For. Someone. Else’s. Happiness.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be kind, but it does mean that you should stand your ground. There is nothing to feel bad about when you say “no” to something in an effort to protect yourself and family in the light of some scary, real scientific data.
Rule 3: Don’t leave room for too many questions or too much of an explanation. Be concise; be cut-and-dry. The answer is no. That is your final answer. You don’t owe a ten-page explanation of why you’re saying no.
“No; I can’t” is a complete sentence. You’re not leaving anything out by simply saying “no; I can’t.” If someone cannot handle that you have declined their invitation, that’s on them. See Rule 2 about how you’re not responsible for others’ happiness.
Rule 4: Expect to piss people off. So often, we say “yes” to too many things because we don’t want to make people “feel bad.” I am here to tell you that, without a doubt, you will make people upset when you tell them “no.”
They may use all kinds of stupid tactics to get you to change your mind or to feel bad, including but not limited to the following:
- Guilt trips: “It would really make mom happy if you came.”
- Flawed logic: “I guess you just live under a rock now! Oh well.”
- Passive aggressiveness: The person is clearly upset, but insists that there’s “nothing wrong,” followed by an argument over pair of shoes you borrowed 16 years ago (it ain’t about the shoes, doll).
- Bandwagon techniques: “The whole family/group is coming! Come on; we’re all family here.”
The above fall under one blanket term: manipulation. Don’t take the bait; don’t fall into the trap. The best thing you can do is blow it off: “I know; sorry! Maybe next time. Bye.” And then HANG UP or stop the conversation.
Look — your mother-in-law will get over it. If she doesn’t, then maybe it’s good you cut that relationship off. Just saying.
Rule 5: If you want to be extra nice, simply offer a safe alternative. If it’s someone’s birthday party, for example, offer a lunch date: “I can’t make it because I don’t feel comfortable in a group yet, but how about an outdoor coffee or lunch in a couple weeks?” If, of course, you’re ok with that.
Not cool with that? No problem. This is just a bonus if you’re fine being outdoors with one other person. Remember that you’re not obligated to make anything up if you don’t want to!
ProTip: Wait 14 days before you plan your makeup-date. I don’t think I need to explain why at this point.
So there you have it, y’all. I have spent most of my life saying “no.” I’m a non-drinker (like, nothing), so I’ve developed a tough skin when my drunk friends kept trying to buy me drinks. The answer is NO, dude. And it shall remain NO.
Be careful out there. Wear your mask. Stay six feet from people. And screw everyone who cares more about their headcount than your safety.