There's a common misconception that single people lead carefree lives. And in a country like the Philippines where there seems to be a race to the altar (seriously, may prize ba?), people tend to dismiss your responsibilities if you're not caring for a child or husband. You may have noticed it happen at work, when a boss dumped incomplete team tasks on your lap for the weekend instead of your married colleagues simply because "they have their own families to attend to." And it might have been okay with you, especially if your officemate had to attend her kid's pre-school graduation or piano recital, but when it starts to become the default, then it may be time to speak up.
Many single people juggle just as many responsibilities as their married counterparts, but some managers may think it's okay to pile the work on them because single people are perceived to be "strong, career types." To be completely honest, that isn't always the case. Some folks seem to forget that single people have lives outside their offices that don't revolve around finding a man. What if you just really haven't found anyone you want to marry yet? (Or if you just don't want to get married period!) Or what if you're not even that passionate about your job? Don't get stuck doing something just because you were pressured to do so. Here are some reasons why it might be smart for you to learn when to say no:
You deserve to have a social life.
No man is an island. We all need friends, family, and occasionally, some romance. A blind date isn't less important than an officemate's family dinner—except when it is, in which case, it should be your decision. Your personal relationships are just as important, no matter how varied or even newfound they are.
You can use that time to contribute to society in numerous ways.
In one study featured on Psychology Today, findings showed that single people volunteered more than married people in social and community service organizations, hospitals, cultural and sports groups, and more.
"If you look carefully at studies and statistics, as I have been doing for decades, it is hard to find any examples in which married people, on the average, are more generous than single people," writes Bella DePaulo Ph.D. If you're already doing volunteer work, then great. But if not, well, now's the time to start! Who knows, it might even lead you to your passion!
Your job isn't everything.
If you are one of those people blessed with having a job you love, it might be easy for those overtimes to add up unnoticed. Don't let it. Your job doesn't dictate your career path. Besides, studies have shown that working more than you should will actually have a negative effect on your productivity. So learn how to separate short, quick tasks from your long-term goals.
Work is work is work.
There are women who opt to put their careers on hold to be stay-at-home moms, and some who even decide to leave their jobs forever. More often than not, that's a choice they made because they know themselves, what they can handle, and what they're willing to sacrifice. On the other hand, those who don't shouldn't expect work to be lighter for them. If a woman decides to have a full-time job while being a mom, it's her responsibility to learn how to balance her priorities without compromising her team. It's definitely okay to do a favor for them occasionally, as I expect they do for you, too. Remember, it's always about give and take.
It's called work-life balance, not work-family balance.
Aside from your social life, you should never sacrifice your health for a job. That means eating right, sleeping well, and having enough time to exercise. It's always important to get enough rest, which means taking advantage of your vacation leaves, too. At the end of the day, whether you have a family of your own or not only changes your responsibitlies, it doesn't change the fact that you're human, too. Be kind and compassionate, but always know when to put yourself first.