All Articles Tagged "no"
I am rarely ever opposed to being vocal about how selfish I believe my younger brother to be. His attitude is self-preservation above all else. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll do the occasional favor or two, but at the end of the day it is all about his wants, his needs, his pleasure, his car, and his girlfriend. But can you really blame him? That seems to be all most guys care about at 19 years old. I on the other hand am the exact opposite. I am always putting others before myself. I live, eat, and breathe with a favor or two, or three on my to-do list. People call on me for all kinds of favors from babysitting to borrowing money and somehow no matter how hectic my life may be at the moment I find it in me to muster up a yes.
But, lately I’ve been pondering why my response is always yes when the majority of the time the person inside of me is screaming “HELL NO!” While I believe my little brother’s selfishness to be a tad obnoxious, I can’t help but to admit that I secretly admire his ability to say no. On any given week, I can list at least three to five things that I’ve agreed to do, which I have absolutely no desire to carry out. I often find myself walking away after agreeing to do something asking myself, “Why in the world did I just agree to that?” I mean is it really that difficult to utter one of the shortest words in the English language? It has gotten to the point where I am starting to believe that people have learned to play on my inability to say no. While some would say that I need to just get a backbone and learn to pass on some things, I can’t help but to believe that there’s more to it than that. As time progresses, I am slowly realizing that my inability to say no is unhealthy. It’s very stressful, and of course, enough stress can make you ill. How productive can I actually be to the commitments of my own life when I am constantly carrying out tasks and doing favors assigned (not even “asked” mind you) by others?
After much deliberation, research, and a close analysis of my personal interactions, I have come to realize that my struggle with the word no comes from my desire to not deal with the consequences that could arise after I release my “no” into the atmosphere. I’d much rather inconvenience myself than to disappoint, hurt someone’s feelings, or cause confrontation. Let’s just call it what it is: I’m a people pleaser.
For example, at this very moment that I’m writing this piece, I’m facing the struggle of trying to meet several deadlines for school, six to be exact. At the same time that I am juggling multiple homework assignments from six different classes, I am also babysitting my four-year-old godson. I have an aunt on one line asking if I can babysit my little cousin for a few hours this weekend, a sister on the other line asking if I can keep my niece overnight, another family member asking if I will accompany them to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a few requests from several members of my church, and a cooky cousin clogging my voicemail box asking if I can help her create a Facebook page for the family reunion that she’s planning. *Sighs*
In the midst of my frustrations, I can’t help but to think that my brother would never have this problem. That carefree individual would’ve simply declined and been on his merry way. Actually, people would have known not to ask him for a favor in the first place. I can’t even place the blame on those around me for the millions of favors that I am asked to do on a daily basis. It is my own fault for not being stern enough to say no, and while I don’t believe they’d love me any less if I declined, it still doesn’t take away my desire to refrain from disappointing them.
I find it ironic that as I am facing my demons with the word “no” by writing this article, I am also being brought to a crossroads in my personal life. I can either go left or I can go right. I can appease all of the people around me by granting the requests they’ve made and possibly lose my mind AND miss my school deadlines at the same time, or I can find a no from deep within and put myself first as I should have done a long time ago.
Are you someone who is always doing for others and doesn’t know when and how to say no?
More on Madame Noire!
- Where Are They Now? The Cast of “New York Undercover”
- FLAT CHANCE!: Keep Your Feet Fly In These Flats – EDITOR PICKS
- Remember Adebisi From Oz? Did You Know He Was A Skinhead!
- True Life: He Proposed to Me!
- Made For T.V. Moms: Our Favorite Reality Show Mothers
- And This Is How You Shut Someone Down On-Air Without Being An Angry Black Woman
- Bonjou! 8 Famous Folks You Might Not Have Known Were Creole
By Sheena Bryant
As the seasons change and the weather becomes nicer, Iʼm trying to prepare myself for all of the foolishness that spring and summer will certainly bring. I donʼt know what it is about the sunshine, but it seems to give men a boost of confidence, assertiveness and outright audacity that doesn’t always exist in winter months. Is it me, or are the pick-up lines and tactics that men use to gain the attention of women far more exuberant and bold when itʼs hot!? And not only are men more creative, they are far more persistent when the sunʼs out. Iʼm from Chicago, and winter is no joke. No man wants to stand in the bitter cold for long trying to convince you to take his number, but that same man will follow you down the block until he wears you down when he can leave that coat in the closet.
The sun is shining stronger and longer these days and you should expect men (and ladies too) to be on the prowl. A simple walk down the street can be exhausting when youʼre a woman. Street harassment is real people! You WILL hear “Aye yo, shawty!” Miss lady. Sweetheart. Lil mama, and all of the other phrases and terms by which men choose to refer to women. Sometimes a quick no thank you will do when trying to dissuade eager suitors, but there are some men who are tenacious and donʼt seem to take no for an answer. If youʼre like I once was, you donʼt want to hurt anyoneʼs feelings so you try to find ways to nicely nudge men in the opposite direction. But let me just tell you, itʼs never a good idea to tell a man anything that you donʼt mean. If you arenʼt interested, say that and keep it moving. You may end up in undesirable situations otherwise.
I find that some men have a comeback for every variation of no thank you that exists: You: “I have a boyfriend.” Suitor: “What your man doesnʼt know wonʼt hurt him.” You: “Iʼm sorry, but itʼs not a good time.” Suitor: “Well take my number until the right time rolls around.” And this charade could go on forever. It came to me one day that what most men today donʼt want to deal with is an overly religious, holier-than-thou kind of girl. Most men think this girl keeps her goodies to herself and they promptly walk—sometimes run—in the opposite direction. So I had the grand idea to talk excessively about Jesus when hyper-persistent men who I was not interested in approached me. That is until I met a man who halted this foolish habit with one action.
He seemed like a nice guy, but I simply wasnʼt interested. He wanted to buy me dinner and whenever I tried to nicely decline, heʼd try to be more convincing. So I decided to pull out my fool-proof deterrent: “You know, hereʼs the thing. Itʼs all about Jesus these days for me. Iʼm really working on my relationship with God. I just want to be closer to Him. I love Jesus.” In my mind, Iʼm thinking 5,4,3,2…gone. But surprisingly, he was still standing there, and he hit me with the following: “Yeah, my relationship with God is important to me too.” What!? It was apparent that this one had come to the field to play and hardball was obviously his game of choice. When he continued to not take no for an answer, I foolishly decided to kick it up a notch. I told the gentleman that I wasn’t giving him my number but, if he came to my church, I would have dinner with him. I told him the name of the small church I attended at the time and casually told him that it was on the corner of such and such. I knew I wouldnʼt see him again.
Fast forward. Itʼs a lovely, ordinary Sunday morning. Iʼm at church, where I always am on Sundays, teaching Sunday School, what I always do on Sundays. I end my class with the tots, grab my things and head to the sanctuary. A girlfriend, who happened to witness my exchange with persistent gentleman number one, meets me at the door. “Your friendʼs here,” she says. When I ask her who she’s talking about, she say’s again, “Your friend.”
Thatʼs right. Mister Man had taken me at my word and not only would he attend Sunday service, but he for some reason came to Sunday School! And I assure you he was hungry and ready for dinner when it was all over.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT tell a man anything you donʼt mean just to get him to leave you alone. Honesty really is the best policy, but you have to be nice and honest at the same time. As the weather gets warmer and warmer and men become as persistent and brazen as the summer sun, find a better way than the younger version of myself, and politely decline every suitor you are not interested in.
I know I may be in the minority when it comes to finding oneself in this particular situation, but certainly youʼve said some things you regret as well to get a guy off your back. Are there any times when you should have said no thank you and walked away, but you said something that came back to bite you in the behind instead?
More on Madame Noire!
- Women Who Get/Got Too Into Their Men
- The New Dating Norms: 6 Big Changes In The Dating Game
- You’re Just Not That Into It: Signs That Your Job Isn’t For You
- Madames Who Acted Like Ladies, But Thought Like Men
- Kandi Says Beef With Marlo Almost Turned RHOA Reunion Into A Different Kind Of Show
- Growing Up Fast: Toya and Lil Wayne’s Daughter Reginae Gets Dolled Up For Photo Shoot
- RHOA Salaries Exposed: They’re All Making Bank!
- Cartoon Has a Message for Black Women