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  1. #21
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    It is insincere to say "yes" when you feel "no". Consider that you are not being genuinely polite or caring if you do things out of obligation only. This does not strengthen bonds with people, but it actually weakens them, as interactions are not founded on real feeling. People don't feel security, loyalty and care when things (including time and energy) are given in this manner. It all becomes a meaningless charade.

    To be a truly giving person, you must do so wholeheartedly. Every time you consider saying "yes" when you feel "no", realize that you are lying to people and that they deserve better than that. They deserve your honest "no".

    I've never had a problem with saying no, in most situations (pity dating is whole other story), and it's because I know the above deep down. I know it's not kindness or thoughtfulness, but cowardice and passiveness. People don't appreciate it in in the long-run, even if they may not see how the dynamic it creates in relationships is related to this behavior.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe
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  2. #22
    Blood of the Exile Animal's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem saying no. In my mother's words to a friend recently, regarding my childhood & teens: "It was impossible to get [Animal] to do anything she didn't want to do." I am compassionate and willing to do things to please the people I love because I WANT to make them happy. But it has to be up to me. I have to want to do this for them, or I won't.. simply put. There is no guilt-tripping me into doing something.. I am immune to this kind of bullshit. I am not oblivious to people's real needs, however. To provide an example: if my boyfriend rushes out late for work because he stayed up late with me last night, I might do his dishes or wake up with him to make him breakfast. If my boyfriend asks me to go out on a Friday night when I'm tired or don't want to go, I'll say no. If he begs, I'll say.. "is it really important to you that I go? I have no desire to go." If he's still unhappy, I might say, "Explain to me why it's important to you that I go?" If his answer is good enough, I might consider it.

    I guess what I'm saying is, there's a balance between being a selfish jerk and saying yes to everything.
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  3. #23
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I have difficulty saying no sometimes... for those who are attributing having trouble saying no only to being a coward and/or a liar, maybe I can present a different perspective.

    I have trouble saying no in people-situations primarily because I get enjoyment out of making others happy, and feel displeased when others are disappointed for what I see as legitimate reasons. So it often comes down to choosing between taking care of myself, which potentially involves boring maintenance tasks, or contributing to someone else's happiness, which is fun and pleasing. Sp-last probs.

    I also feel responsibility for not ditching commitments I have made, or leaving others in a lurch. For example, I recently have gotten a new standard-hours job, and am leaving the job where I used to work non-standard shifts with a sweet disabled man and his generous family. I could have left them after two weeks, but instead opted to stay on for longer, because I know that it is a long and sometimes difficult process to find a new caregiver who is both skilled and whose personality meshes well with the man and his family's. I had not intended to leave the job so soon, and had voiced to the family when I was hired that I was planning to stay on for at least a year. I still took the other job out of respecting my own needs, but I felt better about doing more than the minimum because the man and his family are good, kind people who have been respectful and affectionate towards me. So, in this case, while it would have been nice to have less than a 62-hour workweek, I would rather help the family have an easy transition than to be sitting at home relaxing but knowing that I might have contributed to a difficult time in their lives.

    It often just comes down to having a choice between two pleasing options. Being guilt-tripped just makes me avoidant of that person, so it's not like I'm constantly caving against my own will. I just get a large amount of genuine enjoyment out of contributing to others' wellbeing.

    @Complexity, what I hear out of reading your posts is that you place high value on your relationships and you desire to make those people feel good and you're wanting to live up to their expectations. I assume you probably get enjoyment, as do I, out of making others proud of you. If that's true, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It sounds like you're a a loyal friend and daughter, and you probably do a lot to make them feel fulfilled.

    For a long time, I wanted to become a physician, not just because female doctors were my role models growing up, but also because I wanted a way to make my parents, especially my dad (who is sometimes hard to relate with), proud. Recently I had a realization and change of heart and decided to walk a different career path, and to my surprise, my dad found common ground with me there, and I've realized that my parents are basically always proud of anything I succeed at, even if it's not what they'd envisioned or planned.

    I think that it's hard sometimes to go outside of the expectations of the people who are most important to us, but I think deep down, they just want us to be happy and healthy. I think people tend to get set notions of what would make for a happy and healthy life - like marriage or avoiding entrepreneurship- and discourage us, because they care about us, from other paths. But to some extent it will be an unhappy prison if you don't allow yourself to blossom outside of others' expectations, and I think you will find that, if you are able to craft a happy and healthy life, that your parents will adjust to understanding what it is that makes a good life for you, even if that means rethinking their visions of what your life "should" be like.

  4. #24
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Having trouble with this is not a core feature of my personality - in some areas, it is even harder to say yes than no. But as soon as I say I'm good at something, all the counterexamples pop into my head, as is typical.

    The big exception is when I think someone is physically in danger. I think it pushes an instinctual button, and I can throw myself on top of bombs if I get caught up.

    There's also disintegration to 2 - when I am "not myself". Silencing myself can become a self-punishment when I have sunk into deep enough loathing of my core attributes (those vehemently oppose the silence). This of course implies great self-absorption underlying the effacement. When it comes to the most important decisions, though (like those in love), I will still say no even when in this state it has become very emotionally difficult. There is a level of value where letting things at it go takes on a quality of annihilation - as if I would cease to exist if I gave in. I was certainly unhealthy at this point, but not suicidal. Was, because this was characteristic of a period in my life that is over and must never be repeated.

    And today, I have a friend who I have been growing apart from for a long time, and the last time we met up, I felt like the process had finally completed itself. There was no basis anymore for that day we spent out. I went home feeling like I was crawling on my belly and refuse to experience that again, whatever must be done to restore integrity here. Little moments of weakness.

    But again, in the vast majority of the time, I find it easy to say no.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I have a question to piggyback off of the OP, what if the person is extremely intoxicated or high? I tend to say yes in those situations more because of i'm trying to keep the situation calm, and prevent them from having a blow out. How do you say no in such situations without risking a meltdown or a parnoia attack (especially if the person is high on crack?) fyi I'm not scared when someone's cracked out, like that doesn't bother me but when they beg me to stay longer and it's 3 am and i've been up since 6 the day before and i have a 40 minute drive i'm not really sure how i can say i have to go, i did manage to leave finally. But I would've liked to have felt comfortable doing so an hour earlier.

    it was suggested that I say "I can't hang out if you're gonna smoke crack around me" but the actually smoking crack doesn't bother me and if I wasn't so sleepy it wouldn't have been an issue. the most annoying thing was her looking for rock for 2 hours straight that probably doesn't actually exist. and that wasn't i'm scared, that's more i'm annoyed. plus I have no desire to smoke it and she won't even let me if i wanted to while she's around.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  6. #26
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    I have a question to piggyback off of the OP, what if the person is extremely intoxicated or high?
    This is all you really need to know (although I read everything you typed). You stand up and walk out, end of story. This has nothing to do with saying yes or no.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  7. #27
    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    This is all you really need to know (although I read everything you typed). You stand up and walk out, end of story. This has nothing to do with saying yes or no.
    Definitely. Anything else is just enabling.
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  8. #28
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I have difficulty saying no sometimes... for those who are attributing having trouble saying no only to being a coward and/or a liar, maybe I can present a different perspective.
    I didn't say those people are cowards or liars.... I'm saying that's what the behavior results in when you are insincere about your "yes".

    The "different" perspective is not foreign nor novel; it's the common reason people ever say yes, but what needs to be reflected on is whether that perspective is really what is happening when you say yes and don't feel it.

    I have trouble saying no in people-situations primarily because I get enjoyment out of making others happy, and feel displeased when others are disappointed for what I see as legitimate reasons. So it often comes down to choosing between taking care of myself, which potentially involves boring maintenance tasks, or contributing to someone else's happiness, which is fun and pleasing. Sp-last probs.
    This is insulting to people, not kindness, when it does not stem from genuine feeling though. They don't need to be condescended to, as if they need your help and attention to feel good. In those cases, it really is about the people-pleaser's own ego. If I discovered someone did something for me they didn't want to do, then that would make me feel far worse than if they just didn't do it.

    I try to tell this to my ISFJ mom - don't do stuff and then grumble about it. No one appreciates that. Even if people don't know your true feeling, that dynamic I described is being formed. The resentment the other person has for not saying "no" (because they often paint themselves as victims) will eat at the rest of the relationship.

    Saying "no" doesn't mean you are selfishly opting to care for yourself instead. Saying "no" can be upholding a prior commitment, knowing that stretching yourself too thin is going to hamper your ability to do that.

    I also feel responsibility for not ditching commitments I have made, or leaving others in a lurch.
    People who say no easily don't do this either. As noted, it doesn't mean you are a jerk who doesn't consider how others feel or what is best for them, and it doesn't mean you don't compromise ever or do stuff you don't want to do for someone else's sake. It just means setting healthy boundaries, which are good for the other person too.

    Your example shows you acted out of a genuine desire to uphold some values you possess, not saying yes while harboring resentment, as if obligated to do something you really did not want to do. Doing something out of guilt, shame, and obligation, with no genuine feeling-value is not the same as upholding a commitment with sincerity.

    If you go to a party and you don't want to be there - that's more insulting to the host than politely declining. Doing favors for others that you don't want to do makes them feel like a burden. I know I don't want help from people with that attitude, and it always comes to light eventually.

    I just get a large amount of genuine enjoyment out of contributing to others' wellbeing.
    The point I was making is that being a martyr doesn't necessarily contribute to others' wellbeing, although the martyr may think it does; realizing this frees you from being a martyr. I see this a lot with people-pleasers though. They also have all these hidden string attachments to their "giving", and they harbor resentment for all these sacrifices no one really asked them to make. It creates that ugly dynamic again, with guilting and shaming on both ends.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe
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  9. #29
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I didn't say those people are cowards or liars.... I'm saying that's what the behavior results in when you are insincere about your "yes".

    The "different" perspective is not foreign nor novel; it's the common reason people ever say yes, but what needs to be reflected on is whether that perspective is really what is happening when you say yes and don't feel it.



    This is insulting to people, not kindness, when it does not stem from genuine feeling though. They don't need to be condescended to, as if they need your help and attention to feel good. In those cases, it really is about the people-pleaser's own ego. If I discovered someone did something for me they didn't want to do, then that would make me feel far worse than if they just didn't do it.

    I try to tell this to my ISFJ mom - don't do stuff and then grumble about it. No one appreciates that. Even if people don't know your true feeling, that dynamic I described is being formed. The resentment the other person has for not saying "no" (because they often paint themselves as victims) will eat at the rest of the relationship.

    Saying "no" doesn't mean you are selfishly opting to care for yourself instead. Saying "no" can be upholding a prior commitment, knowing that stretching yourself too thin is going to hamper your ability to do that.



    People who say no easily don't do this either. As noted, it doesn't mean you are a jerk who doesn't consider how others feel or what is best for them, and it doesn't mean you don't compromise ever or do stuff you don't want to do for someone else's sake. It just means setting healthy boundaries, which are good for the other person too.

    Your example shows you acted out of a genuine desire to uphold some values you possess, not saying yes while harboring resentment, as if obligated to do something you really did not want to do. Doing something out of guilt, shame, and obligation, with no genuine feeling-value is not the same as upholding a commitment with sincerity.

    If you go to a party and you don't want to be there - that's more insulting to the host than politely declining. Doing favors for others that you don't want to do makes them feel like a burden. I know I don't want help from people with that attitude, and it always comes to light eventually.


    The point I was making is that being a martyr doesn't necessarily contribute to others' wellbeing, although the martyr may think it does; realizing this frees you from being a martyr. I see this a lot with people-pleasers though. They also have all these hidden string attachments to their "giving", and they harbor resentment for all these sacrifices no one really asked them to make. It creates that ugly dynamic again, with guilting and shaming on both ends.
    For what it's worth, I agree with you, and I wasn't attempting to paint myself or my perspective as particularly unique, or to directly contradict your post, but I think in @Complexity's case it doesn't sound so much to me like what's happening with her, so I wanted to present how it tends to look through my eyes in the suspicion that it might be more similar to what she's feeling than a martyrdom scenario... because she hasn't really presented herself as particularly righteous or upstanding, just as complying and a bit regretful and bewildered, and I've been there and done that a little too recently for comfort.

    And to be fair - I do feel some degree of resentment, though more often I think I experience a 7-ish discomfort at the fear of missing out on something else. Like having to go into work tomorrow morning - ugh. I'm exhausted and would love to be with my family instead, and - full disclosure - I think the people I work for have gotten a little spoiled and are bordering on milking the system, which makes me even more annoyed to go in. But this resentment is less unpleasant than the guilt I'd feel for not doing it... so even though it's not how I'd ideally spend my day, it's the lesser of evils. I wonder if your mom maybe feels that way too, like she doesn't really want to do it but that the guilt would bother her if she didn't? I know I vent to the people close to me sometimes when there just doesn't seem to be a good answer, and when whatever choice I make rears its inevitable downsides. I suspect often martyrdom comes from a combination of good intentions and poor boundaries...

  10. #30
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Disappointing people's expectations is a hard, (for some), but an important lesson to learn, it's one I still occasionally struggle with, but I think I've come along in leaps and bounds. I grew up in an environment that told me I was wrong at every turn, I wasn't being polite enough, or responsible enough, or competent enough....etc.

    I learned that in that environment the only expectation that matters and which needs to be checked, is your own. It doesn't win you many friends, but I think it's worth pursuing.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
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