Day-24: Learning to say No…have I succeeded yet?

To continue with my previous post, as I said it’s weird how the dynamics of saying no change as we grow up. So probably it’s because of the way I am conditioned, I have always found it difficult to say no to anyone. Irrespective of how close or not I am to them. If they come up to me for any sort of help or favour, I invariable end up saying, “OK! Sure! I’ll do it” even when it is utterly inconvenient to me.

Now my parents, R & Namnam are people I can say no to for I know they won’t judge me. It’s the other people, friends, relatives, acquaintances, even rank strangers that I end up trying to please even when I don’t need to. Why do I even worry about being judged by strangers…even I dont know!!

No, it is not a good trait to possess. Definitely not. I know how unsettling and weakening it is to not say no when your heart tells you to say otherwise. This inane urge to be in the good books of everyone is not something to feel proud of. It is unreal, impractical and very unhealthy. I know that. Cos at the end of the day I end up cribbing about that person or that situation and heavily cursing myself for landing in that situation which I could have avoided. So whether I am in any one else’s good books or no, I am certainly not in my own good books!

Now, in a normal scenario, if I don’t like the way someone behaves with me, whether the person is rude or sugar-coated sweet, both the scenarios making me awfully uncomfortable, I would keep my feelings to myself. But lately, I have managed to convey my dislike for that person’s conduct in my own way. I’m learning to be politely dismissive. I still can’t be blunt, much as I would want to. But this ingrained trait of mine where I try to please everyone, forever wishing I wouldn’t want to be in their bad books, seems to be wearing off. I’m off late able to express my discomfort with a certain situation or person, a bit more explicitly, either through my actions, or my words, or simply by way of my facial expressions! I am probably getting a wisdom tooth, who knows!

Somehow I have started to get bored and annoyed by this habit of mine where I am forever looking to make every one happy. Sometimes I end up committing myself to people at the expense of my family’s comfort zone. Which is so wrong on my part, I realize. They know and I know that I don’t do it willingly or purposely, yet it doesn’t make it right, right?

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were on our way back from a school where our kids had an activity. Now the understanding was that the kids would come back with us from the venue and I would drop my friend and her child home. But upon reaching her child expresses a wish to travel in the school bus which was to drop the kids back in their school from where the respective parents were to pick up their children. So my friend let her go and told her she would pick her up. When we were about to reach her place, she asked if I could drive the car past and take her to school. Clearly she didnt want to take her car and drive down to the school. She’d rather avail the free ride service. Now if it was just her kid who needed to be picked up I would have still considered driving her there, but her child was to be accompanied by another friend who was to be dropped off too. So obviously she was trying to wriggle out a bonus favour too. So while I initially had nodded my head and said ok to drive her to school- because I didnt want her to feel bad- I managed to refuse her straight a little later and eventually drop her home as was the understanding at first.

It won’t be wrong to say that I felt immensely lighter at having been able to say no to her and, for once breaking away from the ridiculous people-pleasing trait.

So let me ask myself again, have I succeeded in learning to say NO yet?

Well, I’m not so sure. But I am getting there. That much I know for sure. Slowly but surely.