Up a Creek – The word ‘No.’

Filed under: Opinion |

by Jessica Azar

‘No’ is a word that has taken me a while to become comfortable using.

Generally, I see myself as a ‘people pleaser’ and a bit of a push over. It’s always been a part of who I am, and I think it always will be. However, in the last few years I have slowly embraced the word ‘No.’ It’s tough, but when I am able to spit it out, it feels pretty good.

When answering to the requests of family and friends, I never like to feel that I may hurt feelings by saying “no.” So, I usually just go along with whatever they ask of me, regardless of my own feelings about it.

Over time, when someone is used to me always agreeing to their requests, they expect it. This is when I start to feel ‘taken advantage of.’  This is a good chunk of my own-doing though. People will take advantage of you if you let them, perhaps even without them realizing that they are doing so.

When I feel taken advantage of, especially by family and friends, I start to get resentful, then also mad at myself. It’s not a great combination, and not really fair to them to be honest. Essentially, I have lied to them with my inability to say “no.”

Over the last few years, I have made a better effort to say “no” to people. I have realized that saying “no” doesn’t have to be rude or disrespectful. But if I really don’t want to do something or I can’t afford something, I have to say “no.”

Sometimes, I feel that family and friends get mad at me for saying “no.” But, if they really are, they seem to get over it, because they move to the next favour to ask of me.

In the circumstances when I truly believe that they haven’t respected my answer, I’ve learned a few things about their character. I have even lost a few friends from it. I’ve realized that those people were perhaps not truly friends, and it is for the best to not have them a part of my life any longer.

Family or friends who demand anything from you when they see you’re being hesitant, don’t truly care about how you feel. Sure, I might be disappointed if someone I cared about said “no” to me. But, I would never make them feel awful or bully them over it. Unfortunately, some people will take that plan of action to get what they want.

At the end of the day, I’m going home with only me. These people aren’t with me 24/7, so we all have to do what is right for our own lives at the moment and it is okay to do so. Try to make ourselves happy first and if it takes a ‘no’ once and a while, feel free to use it. It really is liberating.