The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

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It’s Not a Big Deal…Or Is It?

It's Not You, It's My PTSD

Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.

When people warned me that he wasn’t a good friend, I just smiled sheepishly and shrugged. Sure, he was not perfect. Yet, a quirky, introverted, socially-anxious preteen girl took the friends she could get. So, I told myself repeatedly, “It’s not a big deal.”

It’s not a big deal if he tells me to shut up. I do talk too much.

It’s not a big deal if he belittles my dreams. They won’t come true anyway.

It’s not a big deal if he slaps my face. It was a gentle hit to keep me from being too weird.

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When a Compliment Turns Sour

Mario with sunglasses years ago

What happens when a compliment you are given turns sour?

Compliments are one of the best gifts that can be given. When you honestly affirm people, you acknowledge their worth and strengths. Even those of us who struggle with self-hate feel touched (if a bit embarrassed) when complimented by another person.

However, a nice comment can go horribly wrong and leave you feeling icky, frightened, and confused. PTSD can play a major factor in this, but many other mental illness or disorders (autism, bipolar, eating disorders, etc.) can complicate the situation. These brain differences might heighten the anxiety and bewilderment in how to handle the soured compliment.

This happened to me a few days ago at work. People appear to viewer servers and waitresses as subhuman sometimes. Men and women alike will take out frustration on me or order me about in a way that they would probably not do to anyone else. I am learning to breathe deeply and ignore these types of people after I help them.

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