All day yesterday, I had to suffer a colleague’s angry glares because she’d asked for a favour and I politely turned her down.
Being someone who’s come a long way from being unable to refuse, even at a great personal cost, I found her reaction very amusing. And it got me thinking.
This seems like a trivial subject until you consider the underlying psychological triggers and long-term effects.
There’s this un tamed sense of entitlement we all struggle with. We expect things from friends, parents, siblings, lovers, bosses, even internet strangers. When we don’t get them, by default, our disappointment transforms into aggravation. Aimed at them.
Next, vindictiveness steps in. We start planning to “do our own back”. Even though it takes a lifetime, payback, I will! Or, we take the high school route and keep malice. Un friend them, both literally and figuratively.
In the long run, we become dysfunctional people who further degenerate into creeps because we can’t handle break-ups. Radio-silence after sending a job application plunges us into depression. An outright “We’re sorry” sends you jumping off Third Mainland Bridge.
Learn to take ‘No’ for an answer. It’s good for your self-esteem.
Better still, understand that nobody owes you an explanation for saying no. Whether it is their refusal to lend you “ordinary 5k”, their inability to “house you for just one week even though they live in 20-room duplex”, or even something as petty as “No, you can’t borrow my pen”, they are within their rights to refuse.
It’s okay to be upset for a minute as long as you suck it up and move on. Move. On. Don’t become a vengeful, object-throwing, red-faced three year old.
Leave off trying to calculate if it’s a fault of yours or selfishness on their part.
P.S: As a bonus, learn to say NO. Please, learn. It’s a sign of strength. But the motivational speakers don’t tell you that.