Why is it so hard to say no? Is it because we feel like another great opportunity won't come along unless we take this one? Is it out of pity? Is it out of shame? Is it a sense of wanting to fit and not think about our own problems? Or why is it that when we do say no that we feel bad about it?
I suppose this is an odd time to write this post. I mean today is Christmas Eve. Christmas is the time when people say yes all the time. Christmas is about giving. Christmas is about selflessness and love. It seems that Christmas has became all about saying yes. Yes to spending more money than we can afford. Yes to presents for children that they don't really need and don't really deserve. We say yes to all the food we have been avoiding for the entire year. Yes to playing nice with people who we do not like. Yes to a having a date on New Year's Eve with someone who we might not really care about just to say that yes we had a kiss when the clock struck 12:00 am. The yesses seem endless but what about the no's? I reckon that perhaps saying no is maybe more in the spirit that we realize. Because when we say no for the right reasons it prevents us from saying yes for the wrong ones.
Right under my nose I realized that my friends and I have been struggling with the ability to say no. My friends and I are a fun group of women. When we go out we bring the fun. When we walk in a room heads turn, those of men and women. Why? Because we are happy and because we really enjoy each other's company. The problem is our fun nights on the town do not correspond to our un-fun bank accounts. Sometimes when we should be balling on a budget we end up going balls to the wall. I know I have trouble saying no. I feel like I deserve to have fun. Or I don't feel like limiting myself. Or even worse I don't say no because I don't want my friends taking pity on the poor unemployed girl. So instead I say yes and I have fun for one night but I feel guilty for longer afterward.
It even happens with dating. I will take a number from someone who I will never call. I will give a person a second date even though the first was a disaster. And when it comes to intimacy some people might have a three month rule. Others may just do the deed when the time is right. And there are those other times where guys and maybe girls want to skip the dating and courtship and jump directly into a romp in the sack (excuse my phrases I have been watching back to back episodes of Downton Abbey). I have no problem turning down pre-mature sexual advances. But why do I feel bad about saying no? Maybe because I know that when I say no, they won't think that I am a women with thoughts and ideas who is not willing to rush into something . Maybe because I know that when I say no that the date that we were supposed to have, the one that I was looking forward to, will no longer be an option because they weren't looking to date me in the first place.
Sometimes I have a hard time saying no to my mom. I always feel such guilt because she is my mother who raised me. She is my mother who has no choice for her current affliction. Sometimes she has no control of her reactions. But I still say no, even when I am tired, even when I am at my breaking point.
So how can I say no? How can we say no without feeling bad about it? I think personally think it is a gradual process. Maybe it is ok to feel guilty. Maybe it is meant to be hard to say no sometimes. Perhaps it is just realizing the saying no is not always a bad thing. I have heard some variation of the same idea but sometimes before we can love others we have to love ourselves. So maybe saying no is a form of self-love and self-worth. I guess saying no is one art that I will attempt to master in 2014.