All Articles Tagged "saying no"
When it comes to telling people “no,” it appears easier for men because 1) women don’t take kindly to rejection so they’re more hesitant to do the same to their friends, 2) women can be a bit irrational when thinking about the consequences of saying “no,” and 3) men and women tend to have different standards when it comes to friendships.
The “slight” difference between men and women.
Men and women have different ways of dealing with requests made by friends. When asked for a favor both will determine whether they will say yes depending on 1) how reasonable the request is and 2) whether they’re actually capable of carrying out the asked favor. Women, by nature, tend to be more giving and take the feelings of the person into consideration. Also, women generally tend to be more willing to go the extra mile, even if it means sacrificing themselves in the process.
Women don’t like being told no. By anybody.
As I talked about in my earlier piece regarding women and rejection, women don’t like being told “no.” This is a key point as to why it’s easier for men to say no. If a friend asks me for a favor that I either cannot do or have a reason not to do, telling him no isn’t seen as a rejection of the person. If a favor cannot be granted, it simply means that favor cannot be granted. For men, it’s possible that because we experience rejection more often (like when approaching women) we simply don’t have an emotional reaction to it. Furthermore, unless it’s a “life or death” situation, we’ll simply resolve to either asking someone else to do it or handling it ourselves.
The gates of hell will not open up because you turned down a friend’s request.
While discussing women’s internal conflicts with telling someone no, I’ve found that women tend to be a bit more extreme with respect to the emotional ramifications. Not to be sexist, but women seem to be far more likely to think of worst case scenarios when saying no. I’ve witnessed stress and belief that the gates of hell will open up and swallow women whole for rejecting a favor. Or, in a more realistic case, they believe it makes them a bad person for not being able to help. Life, and these types of situations, are hardly, if ever, that serious.
If you can’t help, you can’t help. If you don’t wish to sacrifice yourself every time someone asks to help, that’s perfectly fine too. There are a myriad of reasons to refuse to help someone, even if it wouldn’t take the effort to text a response. Whatever the case, men tend to take a far more pragmatic view on these decisions than women, which is why it might appear men have less of a problem saying no than women do.
Men tend to do it like “this” and women tend to do it like…”that.”
Lastly, it might also be worthy of consideration to take into account the nature of friendships for men and women. From an observational standpoint, women tend to deal with the slights of their peers differently than men do. Whereas men are generally of the mind, “that’s the homie and if he can’t do it then he can’t do it,” I find women don’t take that same approach. Again, observationally speaking, women tend to be more likely to bring up those past favors when handing them out or feeling as if they’ve gained a chip they will be able to “cash in” at a later date. A woman does her friend a favor and she later feels as if the next time she needs a favor to be done, she shouldn’t be refused. It almost turns into a “look at what I did for you and you can’t even help me out when you need me” type of situation. No, that’s not every woman and every situation, but I do think in some cases that’s the logic being used.
The bottom line is it’s easier for men to say no because we tend to believe the person will likely be able to fix their situation at some point. Women tend to believe if they can’t help, something terrible will happen and it’ll make them a bad person. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that some situations are much harder for men to say no to (especially when a woman of his interest is asking) and it’s far easier for women to say no (especially when it comes to men they don’t care for) in certain situations. Like most like situations, its all depends on the context and who’s asking.
For more on RealGoesRight’s opinions on men and women, be sure to check him out with the all-star collective of black men writers over on SingleBlackMale.Org. If you prefer something a bit more direct, feel free to follow him on Twitter at @RealGoesRight and subscribe to his blog at RealGoesRight.Com.
A few days ago I penned a piece on why men need to have dating standards. It was based around the realization that at some point in my dating history, I had to decide that I deserved to be able to say no to women. I thought that it was always unfair when a man walks away from a woman that he is made out to be the bad guy. It’s almost as if, “I just don’t think I like you as much as I thought I would,” was always a bad thing to say. Connected to that is the fear that men have when telling women “no” or anything else they may not want to hear. Many men will lie or not answer questions because they think it’ll hurt a woman’s feelings or have an adverse effect on them.
When asked the question, “Why do men shy away from telling women “no”?” I’m always stuck with the same answer. They either don’t want to hurt their feelings or they don’t think women deal well with rejection. In fact, I’ve learned over the course of my life that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true that women are more accustomed to dealing with rejection than men. That sounds weird doesn’t it? It does, but consider for a second how different genders deal with rejection. Women, when rejected, have to face those feelings and they have few defense mechanisms. Men…, well men, just shrug it off and blame the woman or the circumstance — they rarely internalize and go through a healing process.
Let’s think about the times when a man refuses to tell a woman “no.” It’s typically when she wants to know something about their particular situation or she is asking for him to do something outside of his typical routine. I can think of several times when I may have been causally dating a woman and she asked me, “where is this going?” or “do you see a future with me?” – If I thought it was headed towards a relationship I would reply that way, but if I didn’t… I would make up some diatribe that would skirt the issue and change the subject.
The reason being, most men think women see things in a very binary manner. It’s almost as if you tell a woman “no” she’s going to remove herself from the situation altogether. I’ve experienced times when I didn’t think a relationship was appropriate but I still wanted to date and see where things would go. The woman reacted to the rejection of a relationship request with wanting to move on altogether. Therefore, in future situations I would shy away from saying no and make up some diatribe that would skirt the issue and change the subject.
There are also situations when men don’t want to say no because they want something they don’t feel they’ll be able to get if they reject the woman. I’ll just be blunt – a man won’t want a relationship with a woman but he may want to have sex with her. He won’t totally reject her request for more, so that he can remain in good graces to just have sex.
What can be done to stop all this foolishness?
The answer is a little complicated. I think that men will have to be coddled a bit to get them to come out of their shell. If a woman wants a real and honest perspective, she should couple her questions with, “I want you to answer honestly, I won’t be upset if you say no.” Although she may be upset, she will appreciate the answer more if it’s genuine rather than dishonest and deceiving. Most men don’t really reach that point until much later in life when they have little to lose. That’s when they’ll just start coming off the tip of their tongue with the truth even though they know the woman will not like it. I think both genders have to prevent that and work to bring both sides together.
Like I said before, it’s taken me some time to get to the point where I feel comfortable with telling women “no” or rejecting them. I’ve realized that the drama associated with misleading women is not worth it. I wish that more men would feel the same way, but I don’t think that’s a realistic perspective or outcome in the near future. However, if women want the honest opinions of men, they’ll find ways to bridge the gap and reduce the apprehension. In a sense that what every situation should be about, that’s the best way to get to the goal – bridging gaps to find a mutual understand that leads to an outcome all that are happy with.
Dr. J is a writer for the men’s blog Single Black Male. Dr. J’s inspiration and motivation for writing comes from a desire to provide real and honest advice to all. His approach is no nonsense and rarely sugarcoated. Follow him on twitter @DrJayJack.
I have no proof of this, but I feel like I was one of those kids whose first word was “no.” I’m sure my rapidly developing mind fell in love with the power of it, the shock it induced, the autonomy it expressed. I know this because, to this day, no is still a word I’m particularly fond of. No to correct, no to scold no to decline. I’ll be the first to admit overuse of the word has proved problematic at times. It’s the type of word that erupts, sometimes unexpectedly, even when it’s inappropriate or not the most tactful way to express an idea. It’s a problem I’m working on. But you know where “no” has never–or rarely– failed me?
In the dating game.
“No” in the dating world is a weapon every woman needs in her arsenal. No to the sweaty, no-rhythm-having man in the club, no to the street hollerers, (particularly to the man who asked if he could play in my dreds), no to the guy friends who want something more and most of all, no to the crazies.
I’m overly cautious and slightly paranoid; but quirks aside, I’m always in awe of the number of fruits and nuts there are in this world. Truth be told, we all have our issues and could cross over into the land of mental instability at any given moment. But I’m not talking about us. And I’m not talking about the people who’ve been clinically diagnosed with some type of mental disorder and are able to acknowledge it. I mean the people who are feigning mental soundness, people who would swear on a stack of Bibles, the Qur’an the Torah and Buddha’s fat belly, that they are sane, more sane than you, in fact. They boldly assert their sanity all while hiding deep, dark unresolved issues. Issues that negatively impact every relationship they find themselves in.
The thing about these types of people is that, they’re crafty and sometimes even charismatic. They’ll swoop in and sweep you off your feet, convincing you, at least for a short period of time, that they’ve got just what you need. But it doesn’t take long before someone’s true character rises to the surface. Before you know it, bells, whistles and alarms will be blaring in your ears, warning you that “somethin’, somethin’ just ain’t right.”
This moment right here is crucial. As soon as the alarms sound, you’re left with a decision. Do you heed the warnings and get the hell out of dodge or do you cling to your original expectation or the fantasy of dude, ignoring the vitally important warning signs?
I’m here to tell you don’t ignore the crazy. It’ll get you in trouble every. single. time.
I have a friend who’s the queen of ignoring the crazy. She has a soft spot for broken men. A brotha with minimal education, mommy issues, two children and a dead end job is a brotha who’s been misunderstood in her book. It’s a blessing and a burden, really. She empathizes with the downtrodden. That’s admirable. She often spends exorbitant amounts of time and energy helping them to be better men. And that’s admirable too. It only becomes a problem when said men, in all of their brokenness, can’t appreciate, can’t reciprocate can’t fathom why someone would show them this much kindness. And you know what people do when they don’t understand something? They fear it and since they fear it, they seek to tear it down. Piss on it, as I like to say.
But if my friend is the queen of ignoring the crazy, I’ve got to be the princess. Even I, a woman who considers every potential suitor crazy until proven sane, got caught up and ended up pissed on…repeatedly, actually. Not pissed on in the R. Kelly sense but pissed on in that after spending exorbitant amounts of time and energy trying to help and be there for homeboy, my efforts went unappreciated. And all of this was after much research…much research. How did this happen? I know I didn’t ignore the crazy!?! Naw, I didn’t ignore the crazy. But I sure as hell rationalized the brokenness. Every issue that set off the alarms I mentioned earlier, I excused, pressed the snooze button, assumed they weren’t that big of a deal or that they’d get better with time. Some of them did but a lot of them did not and ultimately I ended up paying for it.
So if you’re reading this piece, squirming uncomfortably in your seat, you’ve probably already heard the alarms and seen the red flags. This article is another one. You can choose to ignore it but don’t be surprised if you end up pissy.
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Healthy boundaries in your relationships don’t just happen. They require discipline and willpower. I know this sounds about as appealing as going on a diet, but without healthy boundaries, you can end up a victim of a man’s bad behavior.
Why do you need to make the effort to stick to your personal boundaries? They give you self-respect. They are how you take care of and protect your mind, body and spirit. They give you a say in how you want your relationship to unfold; how much to give of yourself and when.
Setting healthy boundaries is the most important skill you need to have successful relationships. However, for many women, this can be very challenging. If you are someone who finds it hard to say “no,” boundaries will be particularly difficult to stick to. Here’s how to set healthy boundaries in dating relationships:
- Reflect. Look back on your past relationships. Identify the things you know you should have done differently. List the mistakes you made that worked against you. I bet the majority, if not all, involved you letting down your boundaries in some way. Take your time with this process. If you’re thorough, you’ll most likely find a pattern of behavior.
Check out the rest of the tips at YourTango.com.
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Alright ladies, after exposing the men and their foolish speak, it’s time that we level the playing field. It would be a little unfair to perpetrate like they’re the only ones who have issues when you and I both know we do some very suspect things. So with the help of my “special male friend”(he told me to refer to him as such) I’ve crafted a list of the grimy/shady/silly things women do, so the fellas can engage in some “woman bashing” time.