Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: “No” Means No & It’s Okay To Say NO. (9/2/17)

Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH.

You know what upsets me the most? Whenever you tell someone no, there’s always a chance that they’ll still continue doing what they were doing or ask you again to confirm that “no” once and for all.

Of course, some situations aren’t as severe as others. If your friend asks you if you want to go to the bar on a Friday night and you say “no”, then asking “are you sure?” doesn’t seem like a big deal. If you’re eating dinner and your mother asks you if you want any more food and you say “no”, her asking “are you sure?” doesn’t seem like a big deal.

But if you’re in a situation where you are uncomfortable, tense, and uneasy and you told the person you’re with “no”, then you best to believe to listen to that no. 

Of course, not every situation where you say no because you’re uncomfortable and tense mean that it has anything to do with sex. We all should know that consensual sex is better than any type of sex, so if the person is saying no to your sexual innuendos and forwardness, then you best to believe you fucking listen to that no. That’s honestly the type of no that should be enforced more. You’d be surprised how many people out there will not listen to someone’s “no” before having sex with them.

I mean, can we talk about this for a bit? Trust me, this entire post isn’t about the one thing that should be obvious to the entire human species, but it still baffles me that there are literal people out there who don’t listen to people’s “no’s” and still think it’s cool to proceed with no consent. Even more so, treat the person they are with like absolute shit, yet try to proceed with sex when literally the other person doesn’t want to. I’m sorry, but people who don’t take consent seriously or don’t believe getting consent is a real even when you’re in a romantic relationship are the scum of the Earth and personally, you disgust the living shit out of me. NO MEANS NO IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

Now that *that’s* out of way, I want to talk about the kind of “no” you say in situations where you feel uncomfortable and tense because you don’t feel good, or if you have really bad anxiety. Sometimes in these circumstances when you’re not threatened in any kind of way, you still feel weird and uncomfortable and the easiest thing to do in a situation like that is to shut down. I know as a person who is dealing with social anxiety, I find it hard to voice out my uncomfortableness and I end up just being really tense during social gatherings. I realize that social gatherings are meant to be fun and careless, but I constantly find myself glued on one side of the room and I never get up. I usually have a person at the gathering with me who understands my anxiety, but let’s say I don’t. Let’s say I’m at a party by myself, sitting near the corner, and someone walks over to me and asks me to dance. I say, “no.” The person then proceeds to try to convince me for one dance. I decline by saying “no, thank you.” Now by this point of the interaction, the person will either listen and say “okay, have a nice night” and move the fuck on, or he continues to try to get you up out of your seat for a dance. When it starts leaning towards the ladder, it can drive any anxiety-driven person off the walls. Yeah, a safe party setting shouldn’t be so threatening, but no matter what the atmosphere is, “no” means no. I don’t say “no” to lead you on, I don’t say “no” because I want to play “hard to get”, and I don’t say “no” because I secretly want to see you try to get me to dance with you. I say “no” because I genuinely mean no. That’s that.

People, like myself, who are anxious people tend to feel bad for saying no because then we sort of say to ourselves “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings” or “wow, I feel really awkward now because I said no to them.” In most cases, you’re left feeling even more uncomfortable and tenser now that that awkward situation occurred. You dwell on it all night, and then you go home feeling like absolute shit. It’s way anxious people stay away from all social gatherings together, or we never tend to say no when someone asks us something to asks us to do something. We feel bad saying no.

But saying “no” shows people out there that you prioritize yourself enough to know that at this moment, you don’t want to do something or that you rather be doing something else. Saying “no” in situations gains back your sense of control; when you say “no”, you are demanding whatever happens next. You are kind enough to decline someone but bold enough to tell them how it is when they don’t listen to you the first couple of times.

Seriously, if people responded to “no” in the same way they did to “yes”, the world would be a better place.

Saying no does not mean you’re a mean person. No is simply a response to one’s question or one’s action and just because we choose not to go along with it without there being anything threatening, does not mean you’re mean or a bitch. You’re simply just being honest with yourself and the person you are telling “no” to.

Lastly, if you’re the person who is being told “no”, please be respectful of the person who said no. Seriously, leave the person alone if they tell you “no.” If they are sure about their no, then it’s a no. Don’t harass them. Don’t try to provoke them to try and change their minds. Don’t try and swindle them. Most importantly, DO NOT PROCEED WITH YOUR ACTIONS IF THEY SAID NO AND THEY DIDN’T CONSENT TO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

No means no, and people are allowed to say it.

-Liz (:

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