In one of my not-so interesting and extremely dull English class, while the teacher was teaching us this section, “To say no nicely”, my young and naive self, who would generally struggle to pay attention at a long strength suddenly discovered a new diligent and concentrating side, as If I knew how important this advice will turn out to be in the future. Important or unimportant, sincerely I have always had a need for “learning to say no” since the day I discovered my conscience. Somehow my upbringing made it quite difficult for me to say no to things. I wanted to be loved and appreciated by everyone along with their validations and Yes I got them all, being the all time Samaritan and best friend to everyone reachable. So if you ask me, “Was it worth changing and loosing all the love and appreciation while saying the hard “No”.
Yes, it was.
In that saint phase, where I couldn’t justify my action/time to my own self, I had stopped liking myself and my subconscious beating were taking a toll on me. Having everyone’s but my own liking was enough to shake me to redesign my living way. This certainly doesn’t mean I couldn’t say “No” if someone asks me to jump off the cliff or turn into a formula one racer by driving like a enthusiast (Umm, Okay! Worth trying on a professional race track) or marry someone I don’t know (that can give psychologists an opportunity to learn human behavior in hostage situation). Not diverting any further, it was consistently difficult to say “No”. The feeling of selfishness would consume me and I would use that yardstick to measure my worth. Reading this epigram,”To love oneself is a beginning of a life long romance” acted as a brand new guiding light.
[Credits: Oscar Wilde]
The decision of saying yes carefully was then reconfirmed later, many a times on my path, explicitly while I taught teenagers and dealt with the issues they faced due to difficulty in saying “No” to friends because of peer pressure or trying to wire in the cool category.
Out of the many sources that I considered, to quench my thirst for understanding, it was daunting to witness how teenagers, youth and so many people get involved in situations like drug abuse, alcohol consumption, intimacy, life style in the fear of FOMO, being rejected, peer pressure, to please others so as to get approved. Now it is not compulsory that a person who is in a habit of saying “Yes” will say yes even if the parameter or the impact of the decision is life-threatening. Truly Inclined with one of the quotes I read in a well suggested book(By Bill gates, Mark Zuckerberg), “Shoe dog by Phil Knight “, “Before running the marathon, you have got to walk the track first”. To say “No” to things which really affect you on an enormous scale, first you need to learn to say “No” to the little things and acquire genuine comprehension and furthermore confidence in yourself.
Diverting a bit from the topic, this current A-ha wisdom I gained from a book by Durjoy Datta, ” I am Our Possible Love” where one of the protagonist Aisha is raped twice by her own boyfriend who doesn’t even consider it as rape because she is not assertive enough in saying “No” loudly and her squeaking “No” is just a little resistance any girl is suppose to have. In fact there is something as crazy as, “token resistance” where “No” is just for appearance. Wondering about the truth in this, Why would any girl if she wants to get physically involved with someone say “No” for fun? This diversified, entertaining and confusing Indian society that I live in, where “Girls are suppose to have a little resistance to sex especially if they are not married, a little sweet “No” doesn’t mean they are not interested in the sexual act”. This just emphasizes the paramount importance of learning to say “No” loud and clearly.
So, Are you?
Wasting too much time or money on unimportant things?
Drinking or smoking because of peer pressure?
Dating someone you don’t really like?
In a career which seems a waste?
If Yes?, Learn to say “NO”.