Saturday, January 3, 2015

When "No" Means "Yes" And Other Related Stuff

It would be nice to open this post with a really captivating, attention-grabbing sentence that would hook you and ensure your commitment to read the entire post, but unfortunately, I don't think this is that sentence. So it'll have to do.

Well, today is January 2, 2015, (although, technically, it is now the 3rd) which means that this is my first blog post of the new year. Exciting? Yeah, okay. I mean, not really, because I don't actually feel excited. But that's not the point.

The point is...

The first day of this new year sucked. I'll tell you why. Sort of. But first, a question: Does anyone actually know what this word, "No," means? Seriously. Because a lot of people these days interpret it to mean something other than what I thought it meant, and...I'm just trying to clear things up to make sure I've got the correct definition.
See, when I look it up, I find this: 

Used to express refusal, denial, disbelief, emphasis, or disagreement.
No, I'm not going. No, you're wrong.
Not at all; not by any degree. Often used with the comparative.
no better; no more.
whether or no.
n. noun
A negative response; a denial or refusal.
The proposal produced only noes.
A negative vote or voter.
Used to express strong refusal, doubt, or disbelief.

Which is what I always thought the word meant. But now I'm confused, because when I used that word to communicate the negative, expressing my refusal of a request, (or what I interpreted as a "request") it wasn't received by the other person the way I thought it should have been, if "no" means what I thought it meant.

And that's why the first day of the year sucked for me, because someone asked me if I'd do something and I said no, but they didn't understand that when I said, "No," it meant I was not agreeing. And that confusion ended with me being a position that I did not want to be in. I mean, I thought that by saying no, I was being pretty clear and expressing my refusal as straightforward as possible. But when "no" means yes, and "yes" means yes...tell me, how does that make sense? When did the definition change, and why wasn't I notified? Was there some kind of memo? Was it on the news and I missed hearing about it? Why didn't anyone tell me? Are we using a different word now? If so, someone please let me know, so that if/when this occurs again, I'll know how to correctly word my refusal. 

Some people, it seems, have issues respecting others' boundaries and don't understand that each person has the right to refuse a request, for whatever reason, and they are not required to provide an explanation. Some people, maybe even without intentionally doing so, manipulate others, making them feel obligated, as if they have no choice, taking away their personal freedom. 
How terrible is that? When a person feels as if they have no other option. When no other option is being given to them. When their boundaries aren't being respected. How is that fair? 

I don't mind if someone asks me if I would help out with something sometimes. I don't mind if a request is made of me. And I don't mind helping out or doing something that's been requested every so often. But when I'm not given the option to accept or refuse, and my answer isn't respected because it's not the answer the other person wants, that's when I have to stand up for myself, not allowing others to treat me that way. I am a person. A human being. I have rights and freedoms. I am valuable, even if some people don't see it. I deserve to be respected and treated fairly. I have a choice. I decide how I allow others to treat me. And so do you. 

I can say, "I have value. I deserve respect." And I can believe it. But if I truly believe it, then I need to actually put it into practice and reinforce it in my life and in my dealings with others.
So maybe this will be the year of putting myself first in some things and in some areas that I need more personal care in. And that's not a bad thing. It's not being self-centered. It's not narcissistic. It's something we all need to do, I think. Take care of yourself. Respect yourself. Value yourself. Because you're worth it. Put boundaries in place. Reinforce them. Say no, and when people push you, don't back down. Stand up for yourself. If you don't want to do something, don't. It's much simpler than we make it out to be. We do have a choice. Sometimes it may not feel like it, but we do. I'm going to try to remember that in the coming weeks, when I'm faced with decisions. I want to make choices based on what's best for my personal well-being and health. 

Right now, I'm choosing to go to sleep. Goodnight world. Take care.