Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Say No


When I clicked on Rebel's Notes to check out this week's prompt I was very surprised to see the following;


Usually I prefer to wind the prompt into a piece of fiction (OK sometimes the fiction resembles a recent piece of reality in my life) but the thing that has stuck in my head with this prompt is the inability of so many people in this world to say no.

A year ago my teenage son had a very painful experience that stemmed largely from a girl's inability to say no. Without going into details he learned a lot about consent from his experience. Sadly I don't feel that the girl and her parents viewed the situation as an opportunity to learn about the value of giving a clear no message and meaning what you say. 

 Possibly as a result of this experience I have started paying attention to how people say no in different situations. In my world everyone has the right to say no. One of the most fundamental rules of every swingers club or party or website is "No means No" Some people seem to think that this rule doesn't apply to them. Usually they get evicted from a venue pretty quickly and once they get a reputation invitations to private events start to become few and far between. Despite all of this there seems to be a plethora of forum posts on swinging websites and in Facebook groups about how some people don't take the hint. 

These rants and whiny comments often puzzle me. In my time writing things for this page and participating in different 'adult hook up groups' on different websites including the ever faithful Facebook I have had very few problems with men (or women) who make a nusiance of themselves. Of course I have been approached by men whose opening line sometimes makes my jaw drop open, and not in the fun way. But usually a firm message stating clearly that "thanks for the attention but I am not up for it" generally sorts things out. I can't recall a single time that someone has responded to such a message with a torrent of abuse. If the stories told by many women who operate in the same groups are to be believed then I must be doing something wrong. Otherwise I would have recieved as much abuse as them.

Lately I have observed a few people trying to say no and I have had a few insights into maybe why some guys can't take the hint. People have a hard time saying no. I am guilty of this crime. When my children ask me for something I hate the look of dissapointment on their face when I say no and so I will try and make what they want look unattractive or I will temporise by saying "maybe". This just leaves me open for further nagging. When someone propositions you and they have taken the time to be polite and they actually look like a nice person it is hard to say no. So a lot of people get a little bit evasive and don't give a clear answer or they say no at first and then allow themselves to be convinced later. All of this can lead to confusion and frustration. 

I am a massive advocate of honesty. I try to be as upfront as possible all the time. But all the best of intentions don't always turn into actions. Whenever I have managed to adhere to the ideal things have run much more smoothly. 

Like the rule says "No means No." And that is the end of it. When you say that little word it doesn't need an explanation or a condition or a retraction. It isn't going to kill a person and it could save you a whole lot of grief later. 

Make sure you go to the Wicked Wednesday page to check out the other wickedness.


  1. Like you, when I see disappointment on faces, I have difficulty in saying no. I think there are many others out there like us. One thing, when someone says no, it should indeed be respected. I totally agree with you in that.

    Nice post!

    Rebel xox

  2. Love your post!

    I had to learn to say no in my 20's and 30's during severe depression and it was that learning curve that taught me how to use "no" and feel empowered to take control of my life and myself.

    "No" is a powerful word but also a necessary one at times!

    I think that when I am back writing again I shall have to look at this topic and write my own piece, as reading all the different perspectives has been fascinating.

    ~Mia~ xx