Yes, I know what you are thinking. Saying, “No,” is one of the most difficult things one could ever face especially when it comes to a friend. Saying, “No,” is always succeeded with the statement, “If I say no, *insert friend’s name here* might get angry at me,” and we know what that will bring. As a result, you might lose a friend, and if you lose him or her, you will be all alone. A.L.O.N.E.
I know, I know. I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t this a problem only children in the first grade encounter? Why should I even read this?”
Now, this is where you are wrong, because (and this is true, at least for me) the more we grow older, the more it is difficult to say no. Again, a ridiculous notion right? But here are some of the more ridiculous notions that we thought might happen if we say, “No.”
1. Living in this time and age is one big challenge. Society keeps on pounding its members with rule-of-thumbs and norms that when violated, will isolate and cage them away. People of every age experience this. A child experiences this at school; a teenager experiences this in the form of peer pressure; a young adult experiences this with a lot of decisions and choices he or she should make to face everyday; and the older ones may experience this with their families, their jobs, and their employers. As a result, we need companions to act as back ups whenever we need help, and to say no to them (even once) may endanger our friendship with them.
2. To say no means you are coward. (Blast this notion! I’m sorry, my impatience is getting ahead of me.) But let us face the truth. When told by a friend to go on a You-Only-Live-Once Adventure (without thinking of the consequences of your actions), and you said, “No,” (because apparently, you are in the right mind to think of the consequences), the next statement is of him or her taunting you and mocking you for not accepting the invitation. Mark. My. Words.
3. And lastly, the word “NO” is always associated with “negation” and “negativity”. You do not want to say, “No,” or else, you will be deemed a person who kills the fun. A “kill joy” to make it short.
Now, after explaining the reasons that hinder us from saying no, it is now my turn to actually tell you that these reasons are generally, One. Big. Lie.
Let me tell you two stories I have encountered about a month ago involving two friends of mine. The first one is all about a friend who genuinely does not want to inflict any disrespect or hurt on anyone. This person just acted in the spur of the moment, intending to have fun with me and my friends. This friend is fond of using Photoshop and actually edited my face to a different body (a sensual body, nonetheless). I did not like it, and I told her about it. I said, “No,” and she apologized for it and deleted the edited photo right away.
The second story, on the other hand, bordered on the line of atrocity, an act of seemingly bad taste. A friend of mine (supposedly a friend) demanded something from me that I could not give both because it is not right in the eyes of the Lord, and because giving it would violate the kind of woman my Father in Heaven told me I should be. I said, “No”. My friend continued on demanding it and yet, I stood by that one word. And the words I told the person next, made the conversation stop: “I won this round. You lost.”
Let me remind you, love, that a true friend will not lead you in danger where the only answer you could provide is, “No.” And if ever there was a yes-and-no situation between the both of you, he or she will respect your choice and will tell you that everything will be alright. A true friend will never leave your side and will walk with you through the bad and the good.
Also, saying, “No,” is not a sign of being a coward, love. In fact, it is a sign of courage! Standing up for what is right amidst all the people who are going the opposite direction, is an act of courage in all sides! Let us not conform in the ways of the world. Be different, love. Who cares if you kill the fun? Besides, there is no fun in making the wrong choices that will lead to the worst of the consequences. And if you truly care for your friend, your “No” should be followed by words that will tell them the extent of how much you care about them, enough to make them think twice of their actions and withdraw from it as soon as possible.
And love, remember what our Father said through Paul?
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
The Little Bonnie Lass
P.S. Remember, love, “Only dead fish go with the flow.”