THE ANSWER IS NO

Sitting with Garry watching a rerun of The Virginian. The story? A young woman is visiting Shiloh taking a hiatus on her relationship. It’s supposed to be a six week separation during which she can discover if she really loves him. But he shows up and starts to pressure her to marry him right away. She’s reluctant because she promised her father to not see him and she’s disappointed in her beau for pushing her.

It’s a common story, one which I’ve lived personally and watched so many others go through, holding a hand while they agonized through their “apart” time.

Garry commented we’d played this one out recently, right here at home. Not us. The granddaughter. We’re too old for that stuff.

“True,” I conceded. “One of the very few things my father told me that turned out to be true was whenever someone is pressuring you for an immediate answer, say no. Because when they are pressuring you, they’ve got an agenda. When in doubt, say no.”

Yes No

It makes a lot of stuff that seems complicated very simple. If they need an answer right now, the answer is no. If the property will be gone if you think it over until tomorrow? Say no. If the price will go up before you have time to decide if you really want it? No! All those other candidates are waiting in the wings, so they need your answer immediately? Uh uh. Nope.

I wish I’d followed this piece of advice. I can remember so many times I said yes and lived to regret it. The jobs I accepted because I was scared to keep looking. The relationships I got into (then had to get out of) because I was too insecure to stand my ground. Things I bought from high pressure salesmen — real estate, cars, and who remembers what else. Saying no would have saved me years of misery and a great deal of money.

All I had to do was say no.

28 comments

  1. I’m so glad I read this post, this is diamond I will pass down to my daughter, and remember it for myself. Good advice. Because regret sucks!!! :)

  2. Loved this, completely resonated with me. If someone is pushing you for an answer, the best answer is no. How true that is. Makes me wish for a lot of times I had said no.

    1. Me too. When I was younger, I was too insecure to say no, even when it was obvious I should. I could have saved myself a lot of grief if I’d learned this lesson earlier in life.

  3. I do find it hard to say no in person but have got pretty good at doing it on the phone. If a sales person is pressuring me I tell them that if they want an instant decision it will be no because I just don’t do that. I can say no,I am sorry but I can’t afford to spend $50 for charity raffle tickets and no I don’t want to put them on my credit card. I feel bad that I can’t afford to be generous but I don’t feel bad that I said no.

    1. Especially since so many of the “telephone charities” are scams, not real charities at all. And anyway, like you — I don’t have spare money any more, so it’s a solid no. It’s easier on the phone!

    1. If you get the reruns on one of your cable channels, the early and middle years of the show are the best. It was a 90-minute per episode show, so each one was like a small movie. James Drury lived on his horse for the filming years and when he was done with the show, he was done. Period. I like most of the shows. The ones at the very end of the series aren’t as good. The stars were burnt out by then and I think so were the scriptwriters. But the early and middle years are good and worth a look-see.

  4. love this and so very true… decisions, saying yes under pressure, most often lead to disaster. Learning to trust our instinct when that little voice in our heads is screaming no seems to come more with age I must say.Glad I finally learned it!!!

    1. Sometimes, it has been a loud clamorous voice … and I still ignored it. Always to my regret. Maybe I’ve used up my quota of bad decisions. They don’t seem to come up very often any more. I think for that at least I should be grateful!!

        1. It’s easier as the years go on. Fewer decisions to make — and also more confidence that it’s okay to say no (especially for women). Much of my later years involved fixing the results of too many “yeses” that should have been “nos!”

  5. This should be taught in grade school.

    Did you find, Marilyn, that once you learned how to say “no” that it came out loud and clear? Perhaps a little louder than the circumstances warranted? That’s been my experience, anyway.

      1. I have a similar history. These days, though, now that I’ve added the word to my vocabulary, it seems to come out with more vehemence than necessary. Sometimes.

        1. There’s a cultural imperative for women to say yes. And smile. Not as much NOW as it was when I was growing up, but it’s still there … along with the embedded idea that we should all look like stick figures.

  6. Grand dad had it right. My grand parents had such advice for me too…every time I followed it things worked out and every time I didn’t, not.

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