The right to say no...?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Freya, Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    I have a problem with saying no.

    I don't feel I have the right to say no - and even on the few occasions I do say no, all it takes is for the person I am saying no to to exhibit some sort of negative emotion (get mad or upset or just seem "off" with me) and I end up aquiescing to whatever it was they asked/wanted in order to "fix" it - regardless of how much I really don't want to.

    Things like - doing people's work for them, taking on extra work, lending people money, going places/doing things I don't want to do... basically the list is endless.

    The most worrying aspect of this is physical intimacy. I do not feel I have the right to say no. Or even "wait" or "slow down" or "Give me a minute" - which is difficult when I get flashbacks and panic attacks from being raped. I don't know how to deal with it or what to do about it. Even when the other person would probably be okay with me saying no, or "not now" or "just give me a minute" (cos lets face it - I know any reasonable person would be) I can't do it. Not without working myself up into a shakey teary panic in case they're cross.

    Or - if I am honest - in case they don't accept no. I sort of feel that if I say yes - I control it slightly. It is partly fear that "no" will be irrelevant. But it is mostly "who do you think you are that you believe you have a right to say no?"

    I don't really know what I am asking.
    How to deal maybe? Ideas? Advice? Someone to tell me that I am not totally unhinged?
  2. windlepoons

    windlepoons Well-Known Member

    The illusion of control Freya, I do understand. You are not totally unhinged, the avoidance of conflict, the way people pay more attention (in case you are useful in the future).
    You have said it all, I think. You fear saying no and people taking what you are not giving. A natural behaviour after rape, maybe.

    Ideas and advice - choose some decent person and tell them no, (or not now, but later). Remind yourself it IS ok to say no. You have the right.
  3. rv498

    rv498 Well-Known Member

    I struggle with this "weakness" myself all throughout my life and am depressed mainly because of it. There is just no way around it, you have to say no when you don't agree.
  4. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Yep been here, worn the t-shirt and been treated like a rag for it.

    No easy answers because as old as I am I still struggle with it.
    My way of dealing was always to just avoid the damn question by giving non commital answers.
    E.G. Someone tries to offload their work onto me I'd say "if I get a chance I'll come help you with it".
    Then I'd be nowhere to be found.
    Not the greatest way of dealing but it does avoid confrontation.
  5. letty

    letty Banned Member

    I have felt guilty saying no myself, but then I got tired of people expecting me to do things and I finally can say no without feeling bad, well sometimes i still do feel bad. but i am able to say no
  6. lifeless84

    lifeless84 Well-Known Member

    I have the same problem, almost never able to say no. On the rare occasions I do so no, i feel deep guilt. If you can "open yourself", speak about yourself, your past in front of others, I recommend psychotherapy. If you are like me, can't speak about yourself with someone face to face, you have a problem.
    Let me ask you a question. When you were a child, were you allowed to have your own opinion, did what you said count, or had you always had to follow others' points of view, you always had to do what oters wanted? And when you stood against your parents' will, did they shout at you, hit you, or just put a mask of a sad person, showing you how much you "hurt" them and failed them, being against them, having your own point of view? I ask, because the root of inability to say NO, usually comes from having 'controlling parents'. They rarely hit you, they rarely shout at you. They make you do what they want by making you feel guilt of trying to be yourself, for doing what you want, not others. In time, you learn your needs are unimportant, insignificant, and only what oters want counts. That's when you loose the ability of saying NO.
    If you feel what I am saying is true , I recommend this book:

    Toxic Parents by Susan Forward - you can read few first pages of the book here. The book describes more toxic behaviours, not only controlling one, but is really worth reading. And mayby it will help you a bit.
  7. Mr Stewart

    Mr Stewart Well-Known Member

    I do this to avoid conflict. I'm hopeless in an argumentative interaction with people. Which may sound strange given that I work as a parking officer and conflict situations arise at least a couple times a week. The difference there is that there is a preset series of things I can and cannot say or do, with no flexibility allow. I don't have to improvise on the fly, just follow the policies and procedures and all is okay.
  8. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    Freya, you always have the right to say no to someone. I have felt similar things before...that I didn't want to upset people or feel like a bad person, but sometimes you feel worse if you don't say no to something you don't feel comfortable doing. If people borrowed my things and never returned them, I never let them borrow things again. When they borrow money and don't pay back, I don't borrow it out anymore. Once a friend wanted some of my things, I firmly said no and she grabbed them right out of my hand! So I just took them right back. People have to understand that you are firm in your stance. I worry less about looking mean than I do about how I feel.
  9. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    It's not as bad as you may think it is. I know that's rediculous, I mean it is fixable, just means relaxing a few ways you may percieve things, and try to judge situations a bit better.

    Like.. well. Idk. I dont really want to play by play how you deal with someone who asks you to do something that they should do themsel. But try to make yourself aware of what you are responsibile for, and what other people are responsibile for. I wouldn't go ape shit on it though, cause you end up defining people and then pre-judging them. I just mean, be aware of the situations youre walking into. And just be yourself and make yourself happy. It'll boost you, ... ok i know that sounds rediculous too.. I just mean these situations should be involving things that are making you happy, .. right. So I guess when you want something, try to not compromise who you are for the sake of a potentially directed happyness where you inevitably are going to feel off about it later on. It's kinda like judging if it's worth it to you. .. I guess that can get shifted very quickly.. Id say emphasise your confidence in yourself maybe a bit more, and try to face your fears. .. that can be incredibly challenging, but .. yeah
    Control is an illusion, but it does give you a degree of control and direction in situations where other people bring control into the equation. There's varying degrees, just .. those little moments you want, those are worth it. So perhaps .. idk . tbh it's either a judgment call, or if you're truly afraid and want control, physical fitness. If you want to find those right moments, you can just find it and try to find the right person who understands you. Idk. Theyre just things to possibly keep in mind.
    Erhm, just be wary of that feeling of control if you give in. I know what you mean though, but it's not something you want to have really going off. Well Idk.. Depends. Just be sensible, and idk right now Id say it wasn't a great idea.

    Just remember that all this shit is shit. It comes down in the end to all of that being something smaller than you, if it even exists at that point, depending on how you deal with it. You're better than your problems. The more you understand them, the more you can spot them, so if they pop up unexpectedly, you will have an way of seeing through it that's easier to deal with.
    Sorry it's disjointed and really full of runons. Ill leave it though. Whats really most important is that you keep yourself safe. The more you talk about it with someone, the more you'll see it for what it really is, and see and learn new ways(that are yours) of dealing with it at that point. It gets better the more you tackle it and release it from yourself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2012
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