Why it is brave to say “NO”

*This rant was created December last year. I accidentally bumped into this when I was erasing files from my tablet, and from that point, everything came rushing back. I thought it was worth posting. Enjoy reading!


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I know that saying no is not an easy thing to do. But we all know that no matter how hard it is, we have to say it, to avoid being unhappy and regret something later on, even if we have to hurt someone else.

For years, I have put much importance to my friends. I value them as I value my family. That is why, I always pay attention to the things that brings them happiness to the point where I have to sacrifice my own. In the first place, their happiness is my happiness as well.

I have respected my friends in every way, including their religious beliefs. I have not forced my faith in them or make them believe what I believe. I am lucky to have open-minded friends who don’t argue when it comes to this matter. They are patient and kind in understanding my own faith and I have been patient and kind as well in understanding theirs, to the point of attending some of their religious activities.

I am not closing myself to the things that they believed in, nor judging them. I know my faith well that is why it is no big deal for me to join some of their activities. However, during the second time that my friend asked me to go with her in their church gathering, I just don’t have that will or tolerance to go with her.

Having prior experience, I already have reservations regarding the situation. But I did not let it ruin the happiness that my friend is feeling upon inviting me again.

I try to give my best in politely declining her offer. I try to mention the interesting things I found during my previous experience with them before giving that big “no” blow. She was pleased to hear my compliment that I failed to digress the conversation that led her to think that I like to join them once more.

I try to gather all my strength and the right words to decline. However, I know, during that moment, I have lost. I cannot say such inappropriate remarks to her. So, feeling dejected, I unwillingly said yes, provided that I have free schedule.

I thought I was able to escape the situation, but to my horror, she became pushy. To the point that I got irritated and I started to hate her. I hate myself for hating her, and I hate myself more for not able to lie to her in that situation and just succumb to the fact that she won and I have to comply with whatever she wanted.

What makes it worse is that I have to sacrifice an event with my other friends just to grant her request. It seems to be one of the hardest decisions that I had so far. But the thought of making her happy despite my unwillingness, was I guess, worth it.

During the event, I was not fully into myself, as expected. My mind was in the other universe, lost and wandering. I try to listen and pay respect to the ongoing preaching. But it was hard, that I cannot even control my own thoughts regarding the situation. I was not listening. I listen but got easily distracted to the point of causing a distraction to others. I felt guilty. I know what I did was rude. But my heart is not in the situation!

What made it worse was when she suddenly mentioned that an hour of their preaching is incomparable to others. I was a little annoyed with her remark. I think it was insensitive on her part to say such thing considering that I am from another religion (though I am not sure that it was my religion she is referring to). Anyway, I decided to keep silent and avoid any possible confrontation regarding the matter. But up until now, whenever I think about it, it makes me upset.

This whole experience has taught me things about relationship, friendship but most especially about myself.

First is that the happiness of others can sometimes cause unhappiness in us, in ways we least expect it. Second, sometimes, we are not brave enough to reject others especially if it is our friend. Third, staying silent is perhaps the most democratic way of avoiding unnecessary conflict that would hamper your ties with them. And lastly, one of the meanest things that you can do with your friends is to force them to believe what you believe in.

 

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