Most of the time we feel bad when we are being rejected. In relationship, at work or wherever. We start to suffer and feel sorry for ourselves. Since the effect is so strong the person who should reject, he would rather avoid it than facing it. He feels bad and doesn’t want to hurt another people. It might sound good but this is one the most terrible things that we do to each other. Because it creates so many misunderstanding. Here is one example to it:
I teach personal finance at a non-profit organization, called Invisible University and since our trainings are free for participants, they don’t always come. We always discuss how come that someone who can’t participate in a course, can’t bring himself to say “sorry I can’t participate”. It might be bad that there are less participants, but it would be easier for us to prepare for each session if we know how many of them take part in the course. As the topic came up I also realized that we, human, can’t say no and can’t refuse or reject anything. Instead of saying “sorry, I can’t”, they just disappear without trace.
I also had a time when I couldn’t say a definite “no” to an offer and I kept procrastinating it until one day I had to say it out, but by that time we both felt terrible. It is a really uncomfortable situation that’s why people would rather disappear than facing it. And the reason lies in our childhood.
When a kid says no
Remember when you were young and your mother/father gave you something or ask you to do something but you refused to take it and they got mad or shout at you and made you do it. Though their intention was to make you try something new or want you to socialize more, but they made you scared of saying no. By time you feel guilty for not doing what they ask you to do. Because you know the one who is being rejected feel bad as well.
And it’s true. If we are rejected or someone says no to us, we feel bad. However, just think which is better? To be rejected now and feel bad, or keep procrastinating it until there is no more way to turn back and feel miserable for longer time?
Being fair in relationship
Relationship between man and woman reflects the best effect of not being able to say no. I see many relationships where two people don’t really want to be together, but they still continue the relationship that ends up in cheating, feeling miserable and so on.
I never understood why they couldn’t be honest and end the relationship so they can go on their way. I have always believed that it’s not a problem if someone doesn’t feel anything towards other. But be honest and tell them the truth. That way both can go on their way freely and start something new. But saying is easier than doing. Here is a real life story.
Recently I dated a guy. The way we started was kinda sudden and strange. We both didn’t feel anything towards the other but we started to go out. After two weeks we discussed this and opened up ourselves. We told each other that we still didn’t have any feeling. But it was just two weeks, so couldn’t decide on anything. We continued and 1 month later we met. It was supposed to be another date, but he told me:
“We have been dating for 1 month now, and I know this is a shame but I still don’t feel anything, so I think we should stop seeing each other.”
“But you can’t be sure whether you will have feeling towards me or not after 1 months. Why don’t you give us 3 months? And if after 3 months you still don’t feel anything, then it’s for sure we need to end it.”
“I don’t see the point in it. What if after 3 months I still don’t feel anything and you start to fall in love with me? I don’t want you to be hurt more, so it’s better to stop this relationship now.”
I was really mad as I didn’t understand if he didn’t have feeling in the very beginning, why did he start the relationship? From my part I had to work on myself for 1 week to accept him as well. But I really wanted to give it a chance and stayed together for a longer time to see until where we could go. Of course it didn’t happen. I was mad for two days until I met up with people from the financial course and we talked about being honest and say no.
Though the whole break up thing was hard, I had to admit the guy was fair and ended the relationship before it could get any more serious. It was much better to suffer now for two days than being together for 3 months more and then suffer more.
Training ourselves to accept rejection
As I said before it is easy to say this but not easy to do. I could feel he was hesitating to break up and I was trembling with anger and disappointment. No matter how much I want people to be honest with me, I still have to train myself to accept the rejection.
It’s a really important trait for all of us. To be honest and to accept the rejection and failure. It can solve literally every kind of misunderstanding, problem between people. Imagine in a company where everyone has their own task but all the task is connected to one big project. If someone can’t finish their task in time, the whole project can collapse. But if that one person is honest and admit he was late with the task, other people can join in to help him with it. So the project can be accomplished perfectly.
It’s true in many field as well. Communication is crucial. And this is another trait that is best to acquire when we are young. As an adult, parents, teacher, it’s really important to teach the kids that it’s not a problem to say no. Instead of forcing them to do what the adults want, we can encourage them to try out new things on their own or show them what they can gain by doing it. The most important thing is to show them that they can be honest and say if there is a problem and train them to deal with the rejection. If at young age they can acquire this skill, it will be much easier for them to deal with it in life.
But it’s also not late to realize it when we have grown up. The main point is we need to be conscious enough to train ourselves to deal with it. The best way is when we encounter the similar situation we remind ourselves that it’s better to suffer now for a short time, than later for a much longer time. And believe that everything happens for a reason, usually it’s for our own sake.