I have lived my entire life as a yes man, and I’m tired of it. I have a terrible fear of disappointng those around of being a burden instead of a help. Even when every bone in my body wants to scream “NO” the only thing that seems to crawl out of my mouth is, “yes, of course.” I usually top it off with a smile or a laugh, like the spineless little mouse I have accustomed myself to be. Most recently, I have learned about the effects of this sort of behavior, they are not good.
I can still remember the first time I realized I was a pushover. Most of the friends I had when I was little were older than me, most of them liked being my friend because they would tell me what to do and I would do it. One particular experience that I will never forget is one that I had when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Now, this friend was the oldest one that I had, I am not going to disclose her name or age, for sake of privacy matters of course. On many occasions, she would dress me up like her little doll and have me dance around, she would cut my hair when she pleased, and applied acrylic nails to my tiny little 6-year old fingers. I didn’t like it, but, I never told her to stop. Why? Because I wanted her to like me and I didn’t want to upset her. This is a tendency that has been in me since I was a child.
When I turned 16, I started to plunge, just a little bit. You see, my tendencies hadn’t caught up with me just yet, I was a great student, great church goer, I kept to myself and only had about two or three friends up until this age. I started to break out of my shell, started wearing makeup and caring about how I dressed and how my hair looked. I wanted more friends, I wanted to be everyone’s friend. A behavior that tends to occur during this age, unfortunately. As I grew in friends and cared more about looks and other things that really shouldn’t matter that much, I started to get the attention of the opposite sex, something I was not experienced in, as I dressed like boy and never combed my hair before high school. Long story short, I don’t want to linger too much on the past, but, I only share this experience out of hope that it might help another young girl in the position that I was once in, before she makes the wrong choice, a did I. I wasn’t strong enough, mentally, to say no, to many things that I didn’t want to do, and when I look back, a simple “No” would have saved me from so much heartache, pain, and time.
I don’t know what your situation might be. I don’t know what your childhood was like or what you might be going through right now. But, what I do know, is that you always have the option and the right to say no, especially if it’s something that can harm you in any way, that includes physically, mentally, and emotionally. You deserve to have healthy relationships and friendships that make you feel happy and safe. You deserve to display the strength that you know you have. And you deserve to live a healthy life. You don’t need to hit rock bottom to learn, learn from the mistakes of others, save yourself some heartache, we already get enough of that from things that we can’t control, so take control of the things that you can.