Monday, October 19, 2009
When yes actually means no.
Well, I hope it's not just me, but you see, many times I say YES when what I really meant is a big fat NO. This happens a lot when I wanted to avoid confrontation. From the earliest days that I remember I feared conflict. Some times that meant fear of getting in trouble - did you get my green crayon? Nooooo... Did you break that figurine? Nooo... You get the idea.
As I got older, things got a little more complex. I feared getting people's feelings hurt, or I feared self-disappointment. I said YES to my teacher when she asked me to represent the class in the Filipino declamation contest, thus embarrassing my folks as I deliver a very lousy performance. I said Yes I liked the gift given to me during Christmas even when I yearn for the one my sister got, because I don't want to appear ungracious when gift was given to me.
I say YES to people, family or friends when what I really mean to say, is NO. I say YES, I'll clean up the kitchen although I have no desire in me to do it, but saying yes, makes me a hero for a brief second. I would say YES when a friend asked me to accompany her to go malling when all I want to do is stay home and relax. In many instances, I don't actually like the person to whom I've just said yes, but I agree to make things "easier." I don't want an argument. I don't want a fuss. And many times I say yes to go along with the crowd, even if I am agreeing to something I don't want to do. I think all these boils down to the same thing - I don't want to upset the other person and I prefer to say the thing that will cause the least amount of conflict.
Maybe it's because of what my old folks had instill in me about good manners, politeness and regard for the needs of others. It is little wonder, that by the time I reach adulthood, refusing a request from anybody seems like an awfully selfish thing to do. I do have become accustomed to putting the needs of others before my own; hence my reluctance to say "no."
But with maturity, I had somehow gotten beyond this. As I get older, I finally start to realize that life is just way too short to spend time being miserable. As I mature, I realize that being a little bit selfish really isn't necessarily a bad thing. Pleasing others to keep relationships together may be noble, but sometimes people should understand and treasure the concept of personal space.
How about you? Do you also fear saying NO for want not to be regarded as a difficult, negative or unobliging person?