November 11th 2019

Today my friend set me a challenge to stop accepting fliers that are handed to me by people I walk past in the street. We were playing this kind of question and answer game, and one of the questions on the sheet was “Do you find it hard to say no to people?” and I find it incredibly difficult to say no to people.

I told a story about this one time when I was in a shopping centre in Brighton and this man with a clipboard looked at me and asked me if I could spare a minute to talk about leukemia and, like, I didn’t want to but I also couldn’t say no to him.

So I stood there for a good (but bad) ten minutes while he told me about how children keep dying from leukemia, and I know that that’s terrible and stuff, but I also know where he was going with his story, and I also also knew that I wasn’t going to give him any money. And yet I still stood there and let him finish because I didn’t want to say no to him.

Every time a person in the street hands me a flier I’ll take it. Whether it’s a flier for a discounted hair cut, pedicure, or a Jehovah’s Witness looking to convert me to… something… I’ll take the flier and say thank you.

And yeah I could say no, but I just feel bad.

I told this all to my friend and she set me a challenge to start saying no more often. It’s a problem that spills over into other aspects of my life too. It’s why I have plans on five nights a week, because I don’t like saying no. And then I spend a load of money on food and alcohol and plane tickets because I don’t like saying no. I love a weekend away, I love a pub trip, and I love accepting fliers from strangers.

Seriously, if for any reason you ever wanted to discreetly assassinate me all you’d have to do is stand in the town centre with a leaflet doused in Novichok and hand me it as I walk past. I’m definitely going to take it, and then I’d die and no one would know why because I’d already put that leaflet in the next bin I saw, but by then it was too late.

Until tomorrow, saying no to leaflets could save my life.


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