Tag Archives: Life

Your Fear of Upsetting Others by Saying No Might be Overblown and Here’s Why.

Your Fear of Upsetting Others by Saying No Might be Overblown and Here’s Why.

Are you like me? Do you tie yourself into so many knots over upsetting people that a group of Boy Scouts could not unravel you? Well, fear (k)not. I have had a realisation that may be able to help you.

Time to fess up. It was not a realisation as such. When those close to me and the universe have spent so much time slapping me in the face and saying ‘I am trying to tell you something’ it seems unfair of me to take the credit for realising something so bloody obvious.

So, let me rephrase. I was led slowly and patiently to realise that my thoughts on upsetting other people have been ever so slightly skewed. Not wanting to upset others is no bad thing. Not wanting to upset others to the point where it is a detriment to yourself might want some evaluation.

Let me clarify what I mean about upsetting others. I am not talking about you walking down the street and knocking an ice-cream out of a child’s hand for no good reason and for the sheer lark of it. That would be a douchebag move. I am referring to when you think you are going to upset someone for saying that you do not want to do something.

So why is this? I think there are various factors. One issues that I have (and maybe you do as well?) is with being selfish. I would rather feel bad than make others (or suppose that I have made others) feel bad. The question I ask is this – is it a negative to listen to what you want to do and do not want to do?

I would argue that it is not. Life is hard. There are a lot of things that can make it more difficult and simply being able to say you can’t face that thing someone wants you to do is a great first step in listening to yourself. It is about being honest. Do not make your life harder by doing more than you feel comfortable with.

Another thing to think about is that you may not actually upset a person by saying you don’t want to do something. Chances are, if someone you know is a decent and understanding person, they will not give you a hard time for saying no to something. Thinking you will annoy someone else before you even know that you will is giving yourself a hiding for nothing.

Also, if you know someone and they do you give you a hard time for not wanting to do something because you are having a hard time, then it is likely that they are not that helpful a person to have around anyway. That does sound harsh I know, but is it harsher than  you being swayed by someone who does not have your best interest at heart?

In the end, I think it is fine for you to be kind to yourself. Take it easy when you need to. Do not do more than you feel fine with doing. It is your life. It is completely ok for you to say no.

I am only giving thoughts on things I have noticed in my own life and I am by no means an expert. If you have ever felt like this or similar, then please let me know and share your thoughts too.




The beach of the present and the waves of the past.

The beach of the present and the waves of the past.

I am sat on a beach that is the present. Everything is pleasant; the sky is blue, the sand is soft and a gentle breeze ripples across my skin. Life in the present is good. While I am thinking about life and all that it holds for me, the waves of the past come lapping slowly towards me. I become aware of them and move further back from the sea of memories. I remain in the present and my mind wanders again. Un-noticed, the waves come closer again and lost in my reverie, I do not move back from them. The waves pull me gently at first; a long forgotten summers day, a girl I had a crush on when I was five or the smell of freshly cut grass in the field behind the house I grew up in. Then the waves get stronger, more powerful and darker in nature. Before I know it, I am pulled far out to sea as memory after memory crashes down on me. It is in these moments that I believe time travel is possible. I exist in those past memories as realistically as the original experience. They can suffocate me with the feelings of things that happened more than half my life ago. I surface and catch my breath, try and swim back to the shore, but the undertow has me in its grip and will not let go. In the blue green world under the water, images and recollections of my life flash before my eyes as if I were drowning in reality. The choice is before me. Swim harder and faster than I ever have before or let my lungs fill with those memories and feel their salt water sting until I can breath no more. Upwards then. break the surface, swim for dry land and vomit up the past until I am cleansed of it. On dry land, in the present, I am who and what the past has made me. I am more than that however. I am who and what the past has made me with the knowledge that not everything that happened has been allowed to alter me, or if it did, then I am aware of that enough to reverse the process. The past has its pull to be sure, so I anchor myself in the present and look to the future when I can.

[Image retrieved from here]