Most people these days are having a hard time saying no. We seem to put other people's happiness and convenience over our own. May it be because we love them, and we just want to keep pleasing them, or because we're afraid to disappoint them.
Even though your gut tells you it doesn't feel right and sometimes even to the point that you know you're being taken advantage of, you still let yourself get pushed around.
But who are we kidding? The moment we let people have what they want against our better judgment, we know instantly that it's plain wrong.
I, for one, always had a hard time asserting myself. I almost always said yes to my boss who had given me extra work while remaining underpaid, or to boyfriends who had prioritized their needs over my own. I thought keeping people happy was part of being a “good person.”
Sometimes, even if those people wouldn't reciprocate, I thought giving was the right thing to do. However, the expression, “Today’s exception is tomorrow’s expectation” rings true. Some of those people whose needs I chose to put before my own simply made it a habit to keep taking without giving back.
I thought I’d be happy, but surprise, surprise: I wasn’t. I got tired of it and decided to take charge. It wasn’t as quick of a realization as a blink of an eye, however.
First, I had to recognize what my own needs were. Do they clash with what others are expecting of me? Second, I had to recognize which people have the tendency to take and not give back. Do I keep doing them favors? How do I confront them about it?
Third, I had to recognize the difference between being diplomatic and being a selfish bitch. So, the change shouldn't mean that every time I do others a favor, I have to get something in return. Not at all.
This time I just needed to recognize what possible expectations and consequences may arise from doing people favors. I should just be as equally as happy and pleased as I make them, so that no one feels he or she is being taken advantage of.
How about you? Do you think of yourself as a “yes” man or woman? Do you think in your life there are people who tend to take advantage of you? How have you dealt with them so far?
Most of the time, these are the people who are hardest to say no to. They borrow money you know they have no way of paying back, or crash at your house for an endless amount of time. Sometimes, they even provide unsolicited, negative opinions about your life.
One member of my family became neck-deep in debt and still elected to be “choosy” with her job assignments. She kept borrowing money from me until the time her utilities had been cut off.
When I confronted her and asked where the money for utilities went, she confessed she used it to for a pair of shoes and to get her hair done. I was livid. I refused to lend a hand this time and encouraged her to earn it from getting a job, instead.
Luckily, I don’t run into a lot of issues with my friends, partly because I'm good at reading people when I first meet them. If you have a “friend” who seems to pop out only when he or she needs a job referral, tickets to this weekend’s event or a ride home, stay away.
With your SO
This becomes tricky if you really do love giving, especially in the bedroom. It’s all fun and games until you realize the last time you came was when you played with yourself, and he or she hasn’t made any loving effort to make you finish whenever you two do it.
Faking that orgasm will only make things worse. Your partner will never realize he or she needs to up the ante, so be honest. If you didn’t finish, say it in a gentle way and tell him or her how you want it done next time so you can “achieve completion,” too.
If your partner refuses to make the effort, get rid of him or her and find someone else who will.
Taking on duties at work without getting recognized, getting paid less and, even worse, seeing other people take credit for it, is not just exhausting, it is morally demeaning.
Trust me, I know how it feels. Work is pretty much black and white; you do your job, and you get paid for it. If you keep doing work you’re not getting paid for, consider talking to your boss about it. If nothing happens, you should definitely consider better career options.
You don’t know them; you don’t see them every day, yet it just seems so rude to say no to them. Say no to the sales lady pressuring you into getting that $250 eye cream when you don't even have under eye circles.
Instead of giving that able-looking street bum spare change, consider giving him or her food or presentable clothes to use to apply for a job.
The most common case of getting ourselves pushed around by, well, ourselves, is when we procrastinate. When we have a project we need to finish soon, or the need to get back in shape, it's easier to lay back and get on Netflix instead, or take a nap and end up not doing those tasks at all.
It’s upsetting having to live with the regret of never getting things done, so stop procrastinating and keep your eye on the ball!
Especially with people we care about, it seems so hard to say no, but we need to keep the consequences in mind. The longer you keep staying passive, the harder it will be to get out of the habit and finally recognize what is right.
The more you assert yourself toward what your instinct tells you is right, the more you are in control of your own happiness and, ultimately, your life.
Photo Courtesy: Netflix/House of Cards