Thank you, MeFites! March 10, 2017 7:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm an inveterate, invertebrate people-pleaser, from a long line of inveterate, invertebrate people-pleasers. It's almost pathological. When I want to say 'no' to someone, I typically have a panic attack, hint around wanting to give a negative answer, then say 'yes' anyway. I then spend weeks kicking myself for saying 'yes' to them.

But thanks to MeFi, I was able to say no to a guy I'm freelancing for yesterday. And he just accepted it! Blew my mind! I used the old chestnut, "I'm sorry, but that won't be possible" when he wanted to change the way I was submitting my work. I was terrified. Seriously. But I knew I couldn't do what he was asking me to do. So I gave it a shot.

He said it was fine, like I hadn't just flung myself off the edge of a cliff trying to miss a hurdle I couldn't jump over.

And it's all y'all's fault.

Thank you!!
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess to MetaFilter-Related at 7:16 AM (31 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

Way to be!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 AM on March 10 [6 favorites]


Yaaay!!! Good job! High five!
posted by Fig at 7:23 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Good for you! The first time is the hardest... it gets easier!
posted by bookmammal at 7:27 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


And in case you're wondering, some of us have had very similar experiences. Metafilter is an amazing place.
posted by Melismata at 7:33 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


You did it! And now you know you can do it again next time without being Smote with Celestial Fury.

Go, you!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:43 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


You're not falling, you're flying! Go, you!
posted by rtha at 7:52 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Yaaayyy!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 7:59 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


way to be almighty!
posted by knownassociate at 8:01 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


You rock! 👊
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:02 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Okay goddess, I'm definitely going to keep you in mind next time I find myself needing to... ugh, you know. Do the scary scary thing you managed to do without dying. Mad respect.
posted by ezust at 8:23 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Once you say no the first time, the noes just come FLYING out of your mouth! It's GLORIOUS!
posted by cooker girl at 8:55 AM on March 10 [16 favorites]


YOU ARE AWESOME!

You just did a terrifying thing! You are SO BRAVE!

AND IT WORKED!

Congratulations congratulations congratulations congratulations congratulations.

I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend basking in your newfound superpower!
posted by kristi at 10:42 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Congratulations! May this be the first of many noes!
posted by SLC Mom at 10:51 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I know this feeling SO MUCH

Nice work.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:56 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


That is awesome! I've found it doesn't always go that smoothly, but when it doesn't, repeating another variation on "it won't be possible" works surprisingly often. Some people just need to push back first.
posted by Mchelly at 11:29 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Well done!!
posted by purplesludge at 11:36 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Nice job!
posted by mordax at 1:01 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


WOOOOOO!!! This is awesome! Congrats!
posted by palomar at 1:30 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Amazing job! Pretty soon you'll even be dropping the preemptive "sorry"!
posted by anderjen at 2:06 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


hero!
posted by chococat at 2:53 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


👍🏼 👯 🎉
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:42 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Good for you!
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:49 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


The funny thing about dreading pushback when you disagree with someone is you find it usually only takes a fraction of the effort you thought it would take for the other party to be amenable.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:33 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


I can relate SO HARD. High five.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:36 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Kick Ass!
posted by soakimbo at 8:58 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I also know this feeling so well. Good for you!

Thank you for coming back in here to tell us and please excuse me while I need to make a call about a bridal shower I will not attend.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:48 AM on March 11 [6 favorites]


I remember the first time I said no at work. I said no, they said Oh, ok. Life changing. Good for you!
posted by BoscosMom at 11:57 AM on March 11


Awesome!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:55 PM on March 11


This week, I was accused of something Very Untrue and Unreasonable by my supervisor via email.

I do not have a good track record of success with this kind of provocation . Historically, my impulse is to lash out and respond by hitting back with every damaging thing I can think of to injure the plaintiff, whether such injustices done to me are related to the original complaint or not. Within a couple years, I realized this is a good way to get yourself in serious trouble, so I changed my approach and quietly suppressed my anger and remain silent.

After years with a great therapist, regular mindfulness meditation, and the right meds, this week I received the Unreasonable Email CC'd to a bunch of other coworkers. Which pissed me off because the complainer clearly understood nothing about the situation and insulted me personally in front of others.

Instead of lashing out with devastating fury and accuracy, or shrinking away and ignoring it, I responded. I responded with an appropriate amount of emotion, restrained maturity, and logic and ended with the suggestion that a public apology would allow us to continue to try to have a productive professional relationship . This felt so foreign to me that I had to share my screen with a handful of coworkers to make sure I wasn't being stupid. To my surprise, they agreed this was coherent and appropriate. Which was good because I sent it off at 11 pm the night before when I'd angrily written it.

In the end I was shown to be in the right and I got my public apology. More importantly, I learned I could stand up for myself, deploy anger and emotion, and still be logical and appear to be the bigger person.

It was like, the first time ever, I felt like an adult. And I mean it when I say it; 10+ years of engaging people and crafting persuasive comments here on Mefi has enabled me to develop the ability to express myself clearly and effectively online and has made all the difference in this part of my life.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:21 PM on March 11 [21 favorites]


I used the aforementioned phrase with my boss about 18 times in a row last week. It didn't really work. The thing that worked was me needing to leave work to pick up the kid and just leaving without doing the thing he was demanding I do immediately and at the last minute.

I'm sure it will come up again and I'll try again. Not going to give up.

Especially happy to hear other stories of success here: congratulations to all of you!
posted by sciencegeek at 5:22 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


OH I SO RELATE!! Yay you!

I still get an uncomfortable feeling inside when I tell someone no and feel a 100 generations of polite Canadian women behind me cringe but it does get easier! Something I learned hear. It took a long time to learn that letting other people run over me actually isn't even fair to the other person and my whole thing of agreeing to doing something >panic attack>finding any reason whatsoever that is socially legitimate for me to cancel>find none and then get resentful of having to do this thing for the person = a really crappy way to be a friend to others. And that telling my BFF that "I'm sorry, but it isn't possible for me to drive you to get groceries today" doesn't make me a screaming demanding crazy bitch that she lol never wants to see again.

Now I'm all "lol nope" when she says she thought of phoning me at 7pm to get a ride to work since they called her in and she was too lazy to walk. And I'm getting better at tolerating the uncomfortable feeling of needing to do something because the person does not take it well when I say "no". That everyone around me isn't immediately angry that I don't sacrifice myself for them despite me having real reasons to say no (chronic pain, fibro, PTSD).

You've got your first taste of freedom from martyrhood! I raise a glass cause it is damn tasty!
posted by kanata at 1:10 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


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