So much of my time is spent wondering how I am going to say “No” to someone. How will I let him down carefully? How do I keep her from getting angry at me? How do I get out of a situation without having to be obvious?
People are constantly telling me to give others a chance. We are often told not to “judge a book by its cover” and to “take time to really know a person.”
Those words of advice are very helpful in many situations. Yet, these wise sayings do not mean you need to say “Yes” or let everyone into your life. Sometimes, saying “No” is the safest and healthiest option.
Just a little while ago, someone was telling me that there was nothing wrong with me talking to someone and getting to know him. I felt confused and stuck. Of course, her words were true, but something seemed wrong. Why did I feel so unsure about what she was saying?
Later today, while trying to put together the puzzle pieces of my thoughts, I realized something rather profound: no human can lay a claim on me.
Sure, I can get to know others and care for them. I want to do that. Being open to new friendships is wonderful.
However, I can also say “No.” There is not a person in this world who I “must” be in a relationship (of any kind) with or who I owe friendship or more to. Should I treat all people with respect and kindness? Yes. Must I be in a close relationship with them all? No.
I, and you too, can choose not to be in a friendship or romantic relationship with any person. Furthermore, I do not need a reason. I do not owe someone myself. Can I give that freely? Sure, but I am tired of making excuses for saying “No” or “Please leave me alone.”
On the opposite side of this, no one owes me his or her friendship. If someone wants to be in any type of relationship with me, great! However, that is that person’s choice. I cannot force it.
Saying this sounds a bit selfish to me. However, I think that it is true. Living this way will take time, but I need to start believing this more. Not only will it keep me safer, it will also give me greater freedom with those who I do allow into my life.