What a horrible word the word “No” is. Those big aggressive N standing up like that. How sad.
Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash
It’s sad, but the “No” you have to know how to handle it…
As I was pedaling quietly after a drunken evening, I thought to myself that I had always been afraid of those two letters.
Afraid to hear it, afraid to write it, afraid to say it.
This fear has almost conditioned my life.
Where did it come from? I have no idea!
Like all children, I had to face rejection, I had to face the disappointment of a neglected request, or the frustration of a no that leaves no hope.
But no more than any other or any other. So are we all afraid of the No, or is it just me that it rattles?
Afraid to hear it
“Can I?…” “No.” So what do you do? Nothing, you don’t have the right, the refusal is so categorical that you just have to turn back. And that terrifies me. So rather than face it, I don’t ask.
Too bad, maybe the answer would have been yes, but uncertainty and regret are less abrasive than the potential of a no.
And I’m not talking about asking for candy before dinner. No (oh my…), I’m talking about asking for a raise, asking someone if they’re ready to build something, applying for a job I really want, or asking for help.
Well Miss you’re 32 now, it’s about time you faced your fears!!!
No but it’s true, you have (almost) conquered your fear of wasps, you are not as afraid of failure (which is directly linked to the fear of no…), you have even braved your fear of the telephone… So two letters? Really?
The No that creates stories…
It has complicated my life, I won’t hide it from you. Sometimes it takes me down some questionable paths. Too afraid to knock on the door, I go through the window. Too afraid to ask to come in, I camp out in the backyard. And it made my path a little more beautiful too.
Because by always going through the motions, you enjoy the scenery, you realize that the journey is worth a few detours.
For example, my passion for sex… I’m sure that’s where it comes from! Well, yes! Honestly, a few looks, a little bit of alcohol and it’s rare to get a solid No when you propose to a man to sleep with him… And I like that! And then, alcohol and endorphins often make you forget the few refusals that preceded the big Yesiiii oh Yesiii…
So you can imagine, when a man refuses me, I am lost. The #metoo is never far away… Mixing my desire and my fear creates a dubious alchemy in my mind. Between the quest to hunt and non-consent, love sometimes creeps in… A real mess!!!
In short, there were good sides to dreading the NO, but it is still time to try to tame it.
Fear of saying it
If that wasn’t enough, beyond hearing it, I was often afraid to say it.
Yes, but yes of course, have my dessert. Of course I’m available to help you clean your toilet on a Friday night. You prefer the top bunk, of course you can have it. Yes, I’ll go in the back, no no I don’t mind at all. I’ll get it for you at the other end of Paris, no problem.
So yes, I am helpful, it’s part of my family values… The YES family !
But still, there were many times, when I dreamed of saying… Uh, no, sorry, I’m car sick. No, not tonight, I’m exhausted. Honestly, no, I don’t want to go to a club, I just dream of going home.
While my brain was screaming a loud and clear NO, my lips were already forming the soft Y of the word YES. Too bad, here we go again for a ride.
Hours lost, euros too, but also sometimes good moments, friendships, hypocritical friendships too.
Because saying yes to everything in order not to be rejected is like watering your plants every day. Sometimes they grow even faster and become more beautiful, but often they end up rotting and dying, leaving a strange smell behind them.
Because it’s the only thing that works for me. This May, I am challenging myself to always say No when I mean it.
So don’t be surprised, if for once, I listen to myself. If for once, I’m not as helpful as I should be. In a month, I’ll probably be back to my old self, but for now… We’ll have to tame MyNoMy!
This month, I’m not going to beat around the bush, if I want something, I’ll ask for it. And I will grit my teeth while waiting for the sentence.
We’ll see if I was right to be so afraid of the NO.