Last day a couple of friends and I decided to have lunch from KFC. We tricked the nice innocent friend into standing in the queue (only after making sure that he knew our orders by heart though) and went to sit down. He came back with every possible dip available, ketchup, mayo, garlic paste, name it you got it. That too for all three of us. And not one of us ever use any of these stuffs. We stared at him pointedly without even giving him the occasional relief of blinking until he blurted out “I’m sorry guys. I fell for the dips again”. He further went on to explain that when the nice lady at the counter asked him nicely if he wanted dips, he couldn’t just say no to her like that. Although it seemed like a silly thing then, I later realized it to be something of a more serious problem that many of us introverts face, the difficulty in saying NO to someone.
The hardest thing to say no to is when your friends make plans to go out when all you want is a chill day with your books, cookies, chips and pajamas. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love hanging out with my friends and I always have an awesome some time whenever I hang out with them. But I don’t know if it’s just a Linnet thing or a universal thing (I’m 99.985% certain that it’s a universal thingy) but on some days the lazybones in me get better of me. But how do I convey this to my friends without hurting their feelings. What if they take this NO to be a subtle hint that I don’t like hanging out with them anymore(all chunkies of mine who’s reading this I love hanging out you ((yes all of you)) and don’t stop inviting me to go out with you even if I say NO twice or thrice in a row).So back to my worrisome brain’s musings.. What if they stop including me in all their future plans? What if they decide to stop talking to me altogether? What if they DUMP me from the position as a best friend? * sobs and blow nose violently *
Enough with the drama. I might have exaggerated the situation a little but still saying a firm NO to plans that involve going out is hard. The trick is to tell them exactly what you want them to know. While “Sorry I rather prefer the company of my books than you guys” would be a rather meanie thing to say “Sorry guys I was really looking forward to today but I’m just not in the mood to go out today. I don’t even have the energy to dress (make 33.3% sad + 33.3% tired + 33.3% innocent expression)”. Okay let me get one thing straight here. I’m not teaching you guys how to manipulate your friends into letting you off the hook for not hanging out with them. Rather I’m telling you all this so that you wouldn’t end up hurting their feelings. Okay so back to the topic how many of you had instances where someone asked you for help with something which you had absolutely no idea on but said yes only so that you wouldn’t sound rude. And ended up making a mess of the whole thing only to regret not having the guts to openly admit your lack of proficiency in the required subject matter.
Or on a sillier note when your little brother comes into your room demanding his rightful share in the packet of hide and seek chocolate cookies which you had skillfully hidden away under your pillow. It’s impossible to say a hard NO to him(or her in case you have a sister) , not because you were enchanted by his large puppy eyes but because you know what will happen if you decide to shut the door at his face.
He will go storming to mom complaining how much of a meanie his big sister is. Mom, far from the impartial judge that she’s supposed to be, has an inclination towards the younger sibling. This is all so frustrating because all you wanted to do was have a packet of nice chocolate chip cookies in peace and was instead brought for trial? Such injustice.
The next hardest thing to say NO to is something all Indians would be familiar with. Us Indians have this rich tradition of “Athiti devo bhava” meaning we are known for entertaining guests with great hospitality, treating them as equivalents of God (I might have exaggerated the context a wee bit). Translation: stuffing them with all sorts of delicacies without listening to their cries of “I’m so full aunty. You don’t want to see my stomach explode do you!”. Desserts, Chocolates, ice cream, deep fried spirals, hexagons, spheres and so goes the list. Everything’s happy at first but even after your stomach attains the saturation level there’s no way out of it. Here you are struggling to breathe while aunty makes the re-entry from kitchen with plates of more colorful varieties. You try saying no again but seeing that your cry for mercy is falling into deaf ears your plea again in a whinier tone but no, “you need more flesh on that skeleton, kid” is what you are met with. These aunties may be the sweetest souls, but they have the one-man ability to uproot your carefully formulated diets in a matter of seconds.
Saying no is never easy but sometimes you just won’t have another option. Don’t think of it as anything worse than ripping off a band aid (but then when has ripping off a band aid ever been easy). So, what I’m trying to say is that when a situation demands you to say a hard no to someone or something you’ve got to toughen up and do it whether you like it or not. Like for example when a plateful of cheesy fries are staring at you, begging you to take them in your hands tenderly, lick the cheese off them and to sink your teeth gently into the perfect crispy surface. But no don’t fall for it. Be a strong woman (woman, because I’m talking about myself), look the cheesy fries in the eyes and say “NO CHEESY FRIES. NOT THIS TIME. SORRY “. And pat yourself on the back saying,” there you go that wasn’t so hard was it”, wipe your tears and walk away.
So if you have any stories of similar instances do share guys!
Written by CHIRI