• Frank Font

Learning to Say No

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

I have had a problem with for most of my life was saying no when someone requested something of me. Most of the time, I would go out of my way to help another person out even though I knew I would not ask for a favor or get something in return. To me, it was simply something you did when you were friends with another person. I did not realize that most people would tell me no in a heartbeat if I were to ask them for the simplest thing. I do not know if it was from a fear of having people talk negatively toward me after telling them no or the possible negative effect on the friendship between us.

A perfect example of this is the situation between the person and me that my aunt is dating, the person that I use too few as a family member. Toward the end of high school, he had offered me work during the weekdays during summer as I only worked weekends at my current job while I had classes in high school. I decided to help him because he made it seem like I would be doing absolutely no work while still earning more than what I was currently getting paid at my current job. I realized that this was not the truth after working with him for one month as the work required more effort, and he paid me the same amount as what I got at my regular job. After that summer, I was just relieved that I no longer had to work with him, but as soon as the following summer rolled around, he asked me to help him yet again, but he still paid me the same amount even though I now had more responsibilities. I continue helping him because I did not want to ruin our relationship, and I believed that he would try to get more for me from the lady he worked for but to no avail. It was not until I realized that he was being paid far more than me, even though he barely did any more work than me. I was always paid the same amount because he would lie to me and say that the lady he worked for was the one that bore me. What was occurring was that he was paying me from the money he was making and simply making me do the hard labor while he mainly sat back and watched. Even though he has yet to tell me what was going on, I said to him that I would no longer be working with him, and low and behold; he stated,” help me out for two more weeks, do not leave me hanging after all the times I have helped you.” I, of course, told him no once again and left it at that. I told this story to emphasize the idea that no matter how many times you tell someone yes as soon as you tell them no, you will be the bad guy. Therefore, do not be scared to tell people any; if they paint you out as a wrong person afterward, they were never someone you should have associated with.

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