How to Say No
Dear Friends & Neighbors of Vanessa in Sierra Leone,
Like Vanessa I have also left my home and am living in a new country. I havetwo passports--one from Ireland and one from the United States (Irish father, Swedish-American mother).
I would like advice on a problem that follows me whether I live in Europe, New York City, Australia, or now, Argentina and that I would like to outgrow:
I like meeting new people and I like for everyone to be happy. But I try to
avoid a fight at any cost which means I often say "yes" when I want to say
"no way!" That means I accept many things silently or even with a smile when
someone takes advantage of my good nature--a lover, a friend, a store clerk.
(I can fight to defend another person in danger or fight against injustice
but somehow I can't fight for myself over small daily things.) How can I
learn to stand up for myself without going to the other extreme and end up
being a mean and nasty person? Is there some krio saying that I can tell
myself in my head to remind myself to be stronger?
Thanks in advance for your advice! Saludos from a cold winter here in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Mr. Douda writes:
Have you seen Coming To America with Eddie Murphy? In the movie Eddie Murphy has a woman who always say yes to him. Anything he want, she say yes. So once he say, "bark like a dog" and she does it. It's funny.
But he no want her so he goes to America. He want a woman that knows something.
And another thing: now you have set a habit by giving people things. The way to stop is to get closer to the people.
If the people really need things and there is no one else who can help, it's okay to say yes. You must find out if they really do need.
Thanks Mr. Douda! It's true, when I have a good fight with my boyfriend (not being mean to each other, just each having our own strong opinion) we are closer after and find we have each learned something about the other.
I still have to practice being stronger when I need help from someone. I will remember your advice to help me.