Butthurt over polite refusals, an epidemic.


There was a time when people accepted “No, thanks.” as a response to something.

And with some things, it’s still accepted, but less so among people who are in a familiar social circle.

I’ve noticed that it seems that a lot of people feel some kind of necessity to make up a little white lie when they want to decline someone over something, in order to avoid butthurt.

I honestly blame this over-entitlement that so many people have about things.  I have been trying to figure out where the heck it stems from, but for the life of my I can’t figure it out.

A person can’t simply say “No, thanks.  I just don’t feel like going.” to an invitation to damned near anything these days, for it will somehow, and for some reason completely offend the person offering.

A thought has occurred to me as I am typing this, and it seems like some small part of it may have come from the “all-inclusive” ideal that has been shoved down our throats since around the time my generation were little.  The idea that the whole class had to be invited to birthday parties, that every single kid has to get a Valentine’s Day card in school, things like that.  And I think because of that pressure, people have grown up thinking that just because they’ve invited you, you’re just going to say yes, unless there is some sort of imminent-death kind of reason.

If a person doesn’t want to go to something, why should they have to give a reason?  And if they simply don’t feel like it, why is that grounds for someone to be offended?  It doesn’t necessarily speak to what the invited thinks of the inviter.  (I know, that’s not a word.)  It doesn’t mean they don’t like you.  It doesn’t mean they’re mad at you.  In a way, I kind of want to say, get over yourself.

If a person doesn’t want to do something, regardless of what it is, it should still be perfectly ok to say no without the person asking feeling butthurt.  The person asking isn’t entitled to a “yes”.  The person being asked isn’t obligated to say “yes”.

The person saying “no” should not be made to feel guilty in any way for it, shouldn’t be pressured into lying just to avoid butthurt.  One person is not more entitled than another.

And even when the person might often say “yes”, that doesn’t leave them obligated to always say yes.  Nor should it be expected.  It’s not respectful to simply assume or expect a “yes” from someone.

And speaking of respect, that in itself could be a whole post, but I will say this.  Respecting people’s decisions is something more people should do.  Respecting other people’s decisions more, would mean far less entitlement.  If you want your decisions respected, then respect others decisions.

The more I’ve learned to actively try to respect other people’s decisions, the more understanding I’ve become over my life, which goes hand in hand with finding peace in myself, being by myself a lot of the time.  I’ve become understanding of their decisions because it’s something that makes them happy.  Making the decision to find peace in solitude, I’ve gained a better understanding of a lot of things.  I’m not sure this particular thought is coming out quite right.

Because of my want to be respected for my own decisions, I’ve made a concerted effort to respect other people’s decisions.  And it has become a heck of a lot easier.   Because of the respect I’ve tried to have for people’s decisions, I’ve come to be more patient, more understanding, and a hell of a lot easier-going.  I don’t think about (as much) whether or not I’d have made a different one.  Because often, it’s a simple fact that I would have.  But that is of absolutely no consequence in the end, really.  It’s not my decision, and simply letting other people make them has unburdened me from a lot of useless trains of thoughts.

This freedom I’ve found from respecting other people’s decisions has left me able to simply focus on my own decisions, ones that I in turn hope are respected.

And those decisions can be as simple as a “No, thanks.”  Or a no because there are just so many other things going on that it would just be too much to juggle.  It’s ok to say no.  And we say this all the time, to so many things.

It’s ok to say no to sexual advances.

It’s ok to say no to drinking or drugs.

It’s ok to say no to getting into a car with a stranger/near stranger.

So on and so forth.

But it has become not ok to say no to so many other things.  And that’s sad.

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Mary

Wife, student, new first time mother. Crafter and creator. Animal enthusiast. I had a miscarriage in March 2011. But we tried again. March, 2012 was the birth of my first child. Off and on I have been dabbling with small business, trying to get it off the ground since, every so often changing direction.

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