Skip to main content

The perils of saying No

I was a bit silly this week. I thought, Why not be more honest this year? Why not just open my mouth and say what I think, and feel, at the time I am actually thinking and feeling it?

I could cut through all the stupid, soulless, mindless, meaningless clap-trap which acts as padding to some relationships and say, 'No, I don't like turnip,' or 'No, I really hate your friends,' or 'No, I have never ever ever enjoyed that.'

It was only once I'd thought about it more closely that I realised I would be saying No an awful lot - that most of my 'dishonest' moments are when I am trying to please or, more accurately, avoid the wrath of people who expect me to behave like they do.

When I'm honest, it's brutal and unflinching and usually accidental. Like when I looked at my mother's new hairstyle and informed her it was better when it was longer, less butch. This one throwaway phrase condemned every other hairstyle she'd had for the last 38 years. Amazing what a few words can do.

Given time to focus, I'd have lied and said it was great, nice, what a good cut, asked her where she had it done (I'm exaggerating now, I never make it to the heady heights of feigning real interest). The thing is, even though I'm remarkably bad at lying, she would have preferred this from me - expected it, even - rather than have the truth that her usual hairstyle owes more to her years in the RAF than a need to look nice.

Crikey, I think I just insulted her lifelong hairstyle all over again. Sigh.

So, putting aside awful honesty, I'm faced with the number of times I agree to things or go along for the sake of other people and what they want, most especially their need not to feel aggrieved by me. I have no wish to go to tea with Aunty Joan, can think of a gargantuan list of things I would rather do. But I end up going as it is often better than the fallout from being completely honest and refusing to play the game of civilised living.

If we were all honest, the whole time, we would find our social circle pruned, leaving the stalwart, the loving, the genuinely needy and the ones who would stick by us No Matter What. We would also suffer more situations where we have to justify saying NO.

And there's the crux of it. By saying Yes, I suffer but avoid a cross-examination. By saying No, I suffer and then have to explain why I said No, why I don't care about anyone other than myself, why I feel this way, why, why, why!

A miserable conundrum when all I really want is to be left alone, without the expectations of others or the need to be pulled along in the riptide of what I should be doing, as opposed to what I want to do.

It seems that total honesty requires a level of emotional endurance I don't yet have and an ability to face the oncoming storm without flinching. I have to separate what I want from how other people feel, so that saying No does not leave me feeling worse than saying Yes.

I'm guessing this could be developed though, like a muscle. A good, strong muscle that doesn't need spinach to pop out and save me from the dread of letting people down. A nice, springy muscle that might let the disappointments and guilts bounce right off, leaving me calm and confident in my No-ness.

Like all exercise, it's better to build up than jump right in and hurt yourself. So I'm practising small, little Nos first, then I'll move up to bigger Nos and hope to just be able to No whenever I want, without even warming up.

I'll know it has worked when I do it without thinking and only realise later, without guilt and without any worry of doing it again. Until then, I'm limbering up as we speak. Get ready for it, readers: NO!


My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!

Popular posts from this blog

Spotting an aspie adult

Have you ever wondered how to spot an aspie adult, at a distance, without having to get too close? It would be so convenient, wouldn't it? To be able to detect the aspieness before you are drawn in, before there is any danger of becoming part of their mad world and waking up one morning, trying to work out where it all went wrong and what happened to all your socks.

Bearing in mind there are always exceptions that prove the rule, here is what you should look for.

In the supermarket I often wonder if I have spotted a fellow aspie. Walking along the aisles, it's easier to people watch than shop, usually because I've forgotten what I need. The supermarket is a good open space where you can spot aspies as they grapple with the complex practicalities of staying alive by food shopping.

The walk: Yes, from a distance or as they pass by, the walk is a dead giveaway. It seems to veer towards extremes, either a fast paced booster effect from A to B, or a meandering wander with no vi…

A Guide to your Aspie

So, you have your new aspie and are wondering what to do with him/her. Depending on size and gender, some of these instructions may need to be followed with caution but we are confident that you will be able to get the best out of your aspie for many trouble-free years to come!

(Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any physical, emotional or financial harm that may come to you when following these instructions. Once unboxed, your aspie is not eligible for our guaranteed swappage and refurbishment policy. Please have a good look at the aspie through the window provided before unboxing).

1. Unbox carefully and without making physical contact with the aspie. Pull down the box using the flaps provided and allow them to step free by themselves.

2. Allow your aspie free rein, to explore their surroundings. For ease of capture, we recommend not unboxing in an area that is too large or too small. Open fields would not be suitable, unless you are a long distance runner. Small rooms are to b…

Your life, on screen...required viewing for aspies and friends

I come to you today a wiser woman. Aren't we always saying, how good it would be to see ourselves as the world sees us? Well, thanks to a new Japanese anime show, I did just that. For the first time in my life, I saw what I look like from the outside.

Readers, this is not a paid review or anything officially linked to the Watamote, the anime. This is purely my response to something which, hum, how can I put it? Well, if I tell you that I sat through the whole show, with an expression of horror and recognition on my face, would that tell you how it was?

IT Teen had told me to watch it. He bought the manga first, the Japanese version. He waved it in my face and said, 'This is about yoooo!' I remember scowling at the book cover, to find a edgily-drawn girl scowling back at me. Yes, already it was accurate.

IT told me that it's a 'slice of life' story, all about this socially awkward girl called Tomoko. I thought, well, yes, I am socially awkward but that doesn…