Just Say No

Just say no.

It seems simple doesn’t it?

Surprisingly, it’s not as easy to say as some may think. Not for me anyway. I have NEVER been able to say no. This has hurt so many people I can’t even count. But sometimes it has hurt me.

I have got myself into so many situations where I can’t give a straight answer, I don’t say no but I don’t say yes, I say ‘maybe’ or ‘ I don’t know’ and to most people this constitutes as an automatic yes. Get it into your head – IT DOESN’T.

NOT SAYING NO DOESN’T MEAN YES.

To be quite honest, the reason for my terrible reputation in school and out of school is probably for my way of not being able to say no. Because of this, everyone knows me and I hate it so much. I’m walking down Banstead highstreet, and two boys walk past me who I have never seen before in my life. Just before they pass me, the taller one nudges his friend and says “Oi, ain’t that Charlotte High”. I speed up my walking to get as far away as possible. Literally no matter where I go, there is always someone that knows me and says something. Even when I changed my hair colour to the complete opposite of what it was so no one would know me by my white and blue hair anymore, I was still noticed and recognised. It is awful.

So many people have taken advantage of me because they know I can’t say no. The after prom party for example. I was completely smashed, nearly the worst I’d ever been. Some boys in my year thought it would be fun to crowd around me and take turns trying to ‘get it on’ with me because they thought I was ‘giving it out to everybody’ -Their words. They assumed that because I was wasted and couldn’t say no, it would be easy for them to ‘get some’. I was too scared to do anything but stand there. If my best friend hadn’t called for me and rescued me I don’t know what would have happened, because I was too out of it and scared to do anything. So a lot of people know me in my year for that night. But what about all the other years?

The fact that the other years have a bad view of me is mostly because quite a large proportion of the boys in each year talk to me. For what reason I do not know, well I do know, but I don’t know why. They talk to me and try to ‘start something’ and I’m too awkward to say no so I just continue conversations that I have no interest in. Then their girlfriends or mates or whatever find out that I’ve been talking to them, then I get in trouble for it. So I’m stuck not knowing what to do because I just can’t physically say no to talking to them because I have a thing about people not liking me because I’ve rejected them without even a good reason.

People ask to meet me? I end up going to meet them even though I don’t want to. People want me to do something for them? I go and do it right away. People ask me out? I can’t say no or yes so it’s just left awkwardly and I end up having a string of boys who I can’t say no to but they think I’m going to say yes. It is not very fun to be honest.

Another example, there is this guy, who there is no way whatsoever I am giving any clues to who he is, who randomly sees me around Banstead every so often and he’s a few years younger. You’d think this wouldn’t make him intimidating to me but it does somehow. I’d seen and talked to him many times before and he hadn’t tried anything, we had just awkwardly spoken whilst I tried to make excuses to leave. Anyway so there was this time a couple of months ago when I was walking back from Banstead after buying some hair dye (which probably happens every single week) and he rode past me on his bike and offered to walk me home. I said “it’s fine, I only live 5 minutes away, I can walk by myself” but he kept persisting so I gave in and let him walk with me. We got to the end of the park, which I chose to walk through because it is a shortcut, and I said he should leave me from here because it would take him longer to get back otherwise. He agreed to this but then proceeded to ask me for a hug, I do not trust him in the slightest so I didn’t say yes but I didn’t say no. I said ‘Why?’ instead. He told me to just do it so I hugged him and after about 10 seconds of him still hugging me I felt a bit uncomfortable so I tried to pull away and instead of letting me go he pushed me up against the fencing and refused to let me go. He forcefully shoved his hand down my jumper trying to ‘grope me’- disgusts me to even write that. Disgusting. I kept trying to push him away but he was surprisingly stronger than I was at that moment and he would not let up. It’s only when he reached for the top of my jeans I kicked him with all I had to get him away. He staggered away and when he looked up at me he had this crazed look in his eye, it was horrifying the way he had suddenly turned like that. He then winked at me before riding away.

It wasn’t even like anything really happened but I blamed myself for so long for not being able to just say no and walk away as soon as he offered to walk me home. I still blame myself. It took me so long to even be able to walk round the highstreet alone again and the first time seeing him since that happened was horrible. I have spoken to him since that day, we had one conversation when he suddenly rode up beside me in the highstreet and it was as if he didn’t remember a thing whereas I was filled with fear. Thankfully for me someone distracted him and he went over to talk to them and I quickly walked away.

It’s even more shameful that he was younger than me because I let him get to me when I could have easily outsmarted him but I didn’t and that was a horrible choice I made that day. Since then my problem with saying no has got even worse, I literally can’t say no to anyone.

In many ways, the focus on “no” puts the burden – yet again – on women to rein in the libidos of men who presumably can’t control themselves… and in many ways can put them at a disadvantage. Women are often socialized to be non-direct for fear of causing offense; many women are frequently uncomfortable with being up front with saying “No, I don’t want this.”

^this quote is taken from this article.

Why is this such a problem? Girls should not feel like they cannot say no to a guy. It shouldn’t be like that. If a man can’t control himself it should be all on him. He should be able to tell when a girl obviously doesn’t want something or is trying to avoid him and he should respect that. It shouldn’t be this way by which girls are scared of causing offense and potentially putting themselves at more of a risk by angering them.

I’ve been used so many times just because people assume I’m fine with it and totally not uncomfortable at all.

There was this one time with one of my older ex boyfriends and he kept trying to do things that I wasn’t comfortable with. This was when I could actually say no. I said to him “No, I’m not comfortable with this, my grandad only passed away last week and I’m not in the mood”.

His reply? “But baby it will make you feel better”

It didn’t. It made me feel disgusting and everything was so all over the place, I just ignored him for ages until he broke off the relationship because I knew I couldn’t do it.

Maybe that is why I can’t say no. No one ever seems to listen when I do.

I really need to start saying no. It would make my life so much more easier rather than needing a long list of excuses as to why I’m not saying yes.

This is me signing off.

-Charlotte-

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