It’s important to say ‘No’

I don’t know if this came with my genes or if it’s some sort of gentle-womanly behaviour I have acquired over the years but every time someone asks me for a favor, however unreasonable it might be, my reflex action is always a ‘Sure‘ or ‘Of course‘.

And after an hour, I would be sitting in a corner, cursing myself for the shortsightedness, regretting the affirmation, for not evaluating the ask and agreeing without analysing the implications and discomfort it would cause me. Many a times, I had to make major changes and work around my schedule/plan to accommodate the request.

It happens so frequently that I have started to wonder if this is some kind of twisted people-pleasing attitude I have. Am I an impulsive peeople-pleaser? But it can’t be because going by the popular opinion, and my friends would vouch, I clearly fall into the category of self-pleaser. And now I realise how it happens.

Initially I agree to the request thinking I am just being nice, then start regretting it almost immediately, spend considerable hours in figuring out how to escape the situation and then end-up in a sour confrontation. My close friends and family have understood this behaviour and they already know my next move. But it becomes difficult with people who don’t know me so well. And it ends up badly for both sides.

Either I have to make major changes on my part which leaves me feeling irritated and unsympathetic towards the other side, which actually debunks the whole idea behind the favor. It was meant to be a favor. I should agree if I am ok with it. So, even though its unreasonable for me to be il-tempered towards the other person, I am only human I guess?

The other ending is if I take my time and realise it absolutely cannot b done and it would be unrealistically troublesome for me. In that case, after hours of contemplation, I have to go back and decline the request which puts me in bad light.

Either way, eventually, people take me as bad-tempered, un-accommodating and one with an attitude. Frankly, I don’t mind but still, it would be better if I would stop putting myself through this. It’s quite exhausting, those hours of regret and planning on the best way to manoeuvre and best words to decline the request without making the other person agitated. It’s a tough job and really unnecessary when I think about it.

So I have decided that from now on, whenever someone asks me for a favor, I am not going to reply immediately, however simple the request. I would take some time to sit over it, maybe minutes or hours, doesn’t matter. This is just to get me into the habit of not acting on impulse. Once I get the hang of this and have more restraint, I would act sensibly I hope and stop spoiling my relations because of favors 🙂


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