This last one being the truest. If saying Yes to another means saying No to myself – then I’d rather deal with myself. If I get mad at me we will eventually work it out. I mean, I might eat too much or get pissy with the people around me or deprive myself of something I want because I’m feeling crappy – but, whatever, I’ve been there before and I’m still there in the morning.
But if I say no to someone and they get pissed enough with me – we’ll end up arguing and there will be ramifications. The relationship may end or at the very least, shift. I may lose whatever it is that I get from this relationship, including the relationship itself. There’s a risk there.
Besides which, I wasn’t built to say no. My no’s are clumsy at best and nasty at worst. They range from a reasonable ‘that doesn’t work for me’ to a messy, tear-filled breakdown about how overwhelmed I am so that I can justify saying no (because saying no requires justification).
Which is why I’ve spent time learning and practicing my no’s. These days, there’s a buffer between me and my responses. It’s called ‘thank you, I’ll get back to you.’ Then I hang out with the request to consider if it’s a yes or no for me (and if it’s a maybe, then it’s a No for Now). If I’m still a yes, I will run it by my bestie, whose nose knows when I’m avoiding a no.
In the end, what comes out is the answer that is true of me. A wholehearted yes or a reluctant, but firm, unshakeable no.