Why Yes is not Always Best

Lots of people have trouble with saying no. It carries with it the connotation of negativity, obstruction and disappointment. People much prefer to say yes. I know that you and your kind really do struggle with saying no. You prefer to be regarded as a can-do kind of person, positive and accommodating. You also find it difficult to say no to people as you really do not like to see the disappointment on their face should you respond in this way. It makes you feel bad and accordingly, you either avoid saying it in the first place or you change your mind if you have said it. Occasionally, you will take refuge in the realm of uncertainty.

“I will think about it.”

“We shall see.”

“Let me reflect and I will come back to you.”

“I just need to check something, but I think it should be okay.”

You want to say no, but you find that you are unable to and therefore you trot out one of these insipid responses and ultimately you will end up saying yes. We know this is a common trait of yours and something we rely on and play on. We are aware that you do not like to say no and therefore we will press and cajole to ensure you say yes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we need your validation and approval. Far from it. We do what we want. We like to hear you say yes because it underlines our power over you. We can always make you say yes. Sometimes you do it straight away (especially if we have you conditioned correctly). On other occasions it requires some persuasion and in the remainder of cases we need to pull out our manipulative tool kit to achieve the desired result, but we always get there. You are designed to say yes, we programme you to say yes and you do so even if it is ultimately detrimental to you. You feel you need to please and that need is greatest when it comes to us.

By contrast we are firm disciples of the word “no”. It is a word of strength. It is commanding and authoritative. Those who can say no have fortitude, steel and resilience. We say it regularly. We are untroubled by the fallen expression, the noises of disappointment and pleading. In fact, should you beg and plead we will just keep saying no and sit back and enjoy the fuel that you provide to us by your behaviour. Beseech us, blackmail us, bribe us and bombard us with requests, nay, demands to say yes and every time we will bat you back with a firm no as we savour your increasing anger, frustration and upset.

We do not associate the word no with negativity. We see it as a positive word. It is one that enables us to assert and maintain our superiority. We are able to use it to control you and keep you in your place. We are fully aware that whoever is on the receiving end of the word no automatically feels bad because they have been denied something.

“No I do not want to have dinner with you tonight.”

“No, you cannot borrow my car this evening.”

“No, you cannot go out with your friends tomorrow evening.”

It takes guts and integrity to say no. You struggle to say it because you are used to being exploited and taken for granted. You may try and dress it up as being someone who always helps and is a facilitator but the reality is you end up being used. Notice how in those instances above where I stated no, I did not give a reason for the refusal, I just said no. That takes real strength. I do not need to fall into providing explanations for my decision. It is my decision, the answer is no, that is an end to it. I can do this because I am not accountable. I can do this because I do not feel bad when witnessing the disappointment of others. This enables me to achieve more and avoid being burdened unnecessarily.

You can learn a lot from my use of the word no. Just do not think of ever using it towards me. That’s a big no.

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17 thoughts on “Why Yes is not Always Best”

  1. Tell me, HG, did you use “no” with your various primaries who wanted to post/tag you on Facebook photos just for the power trip, or because you needed to keep your fb “clear” while hunting for new fuel? Or both?

    G and I took a few trips together. The first one – I guess this was the love bombing phase? – I was not allowed to post anything because of the jealous girl he had just dumped. The second trip he encouraged me to post and tag him on fb, with no privacy restrictions, so anyone and everyone – including his exwife, who I suspect he’s still trying to avenge – to see. Then the most recent trip, I could post and tag, but only set to friends and family, so no one looking at his page who is not a friend would see. This seems like a setback from the second trip, and I resent that he doesn’t have any public pictures of me. Also, as you can guess, he does not declare a relationship status.
    Sometimes I think he’s proud to show me off, but lately I think maybe he’s ashamed of me.

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    1. During seduction I plaster FB etc with photos of my new acquisition and me which also serves to wound the discarded and dysfunctional appliance. I find it a useful way of devaluing to remove tags of me when they later try and post and their confusion from such extensive broadcasts to such censorship is quite something to behold. Yes, he will be proud to show you off and then you become a dirty little secret later on.

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      1. I’m sure you did just fine before Facebook came along, HG, but oh the fun you must have with it to control your various fuel sources. It really is a perfect tool for you and your tribe!

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  2. Ummmm….yes…all so true!!! But I feel that my trait of saying yes and following thru with what I said I would do makes me a much better person than my ex who would tell people he would do something or be somewhere and then blow them off…so frustrating to me because I am dependable and keep my word. He never could unless it benefitted him in some way to help someone. I hated having to always make excuses for him to others, especially his kids, when he wouldn’t show up or follow thru.

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  3. I have always admired people with solid boundaries and who can say no without blinking an eye. Envied is a better word. We do struggle with disappointing others. I have, until recently, been guilty of fear of losing the approval of others when setting boundaries and honoring my truth.,

    A man with strong convictions and a willingness to say no is very sexy! doing it to create frustration is sadistic!

    i think its a pretty fair assumption that my refusal to marry exN to bring him back to the U.S., was a major No No and why I got a big taste of devaluation.. Especially since, at one point, I said I would because he badgered, begged and bullied me so. I know how much fury was unfurled when I calmly said I just could not do it. It was asking too much when I had already given so much. And had received nothing but empty promises. I was still very addicted to him but thank Gawd I had begun to detox from his sphere of influence.

    Do you think he counted on his cold devaluation and Icy demeanor to make me cave? I know he secured a replacement pretty quickly after I said no…have often wondered if he had hoped I woukd come crawling back ready to give him his ticket back home or if he was already on to new and shiny fuel. He let go pretty quickly but before that he woukd stalk, lovebomb and beg to get back together.

    HG, what do you think?

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    1. He will have punished your refusal to marry with a dose of cold fury following such a significant criticism of him. Since he secured a replacement pretty quickly it would seem that rather than try to make you come crawling back because of the cold devaluation he was content to move on and find a new primary source. You obviously wounded him rather badly.

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  4. My father taught me “we shall see” is a no. Never will happen. Never was going to, and no explanation or conversation will be entered into. It was his favourite saying…
    And for my hubby “we shall see” always means yes. I always meant to do it, go there, see that. I just never meant to tell you beforehand, or perhaps afterwards, so I don’t have to appear as though I plan or need to plan things. No need for a conversation as I never know; until I do. But for added control, let’s speak in riddles, or change your mind as you please anyhow without a care for others.
    I never use this phrase! I loathe it. I’d rather you say no or yes; completely your choice.
    The biggest lesson I am learning…is to say “no”; period. I always simply said “yes” to helping others.
    I’ve come to learn that it is not fair, right or just to be anything but happy to help someone out; whenever you agree…however you say it.
    It is no longer my stance to feel anything negative towards/against someone if I don’t want to or cant really help others, just to avoid upsetting/letting them down in any form. Everyone is entitled to ask me. In fact, I welcome it. If I am able to and happy to then I will. Expectation free.
    If I am not, despite the possible repercussions, the answer is simply NO. At times saying yes has terrible repercussions for me in any case. It’s taken a long time to honour myself, just as others do, and I’m seeing the benefits (not to mention the various complications at times!) Of doing so…
    It’s truly not my problem now, if I do not wish it to be. My choice.

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  5. Well this is soooo very good to read again because it is a big part of setting boundaries and stop being a people pleaser and in general recovering from codependency.
    It is so clearly writen and so agreable to read😃.
    In the past I did not even know what the word NO was. Its true I was completely uncapable of saying NO but since I started codependency school well I am in the middle now. I can evaluate something and if I really feel like saying no, then I say No. Not so directly like Ns do but I manage to say No.
    I will comment to this post from what is happening now in my life and not the past as somebody kindly suggested my comments from my past life were not so much appreciated, so I dont say NO to that and anyway its not difficult for this excelent posting because I have fresh examples from last week.
    It is indeed difficult for a codependant in recovery to face the reactions of people who got used to yes, yes, yes and then suddenly comes a NO. But thanks to HG school I could face those reactions without that my world comes down and I discovered it is a way to confirm who is a narcissist with the praise, devaluation cycle and the painful discards.
    Would be nice to hear from the other readers if they have also faced similar cases.
    So here it is the story :
    As the pollen in April makes me extremely sick I have not been going out for lunch alot except for when very good friends ask me to. I am safe behind the closed windows of my building.
    I never used to say No to a person that asked me for lunch but 2016 is different.
    So there are these 3 people I had already suspected to be on the NPD spectrum that from time to time ask me to lunch and I always said yes. Since beg of April it has been No. So I have faced mini- silent treatments. Two weeks of no good morning and things like this. I know now I have let them down. And I know now they do have NPD. Lesser but NPD. Nevertheless very good colleagues. I had to say NO to protect my health during April when birch is active but I guess how I have read through the blog and books this reason is not valid. ( thank you thank you thank you 1000 times HG).
    So on Friday really came for the first time and attack very coverted after a NO for lunch.
    This person looks at me, and Friday I did look very sick with non-stop coughing attacks and tells me ” you seem to have come defective from fabrics, not being able to stand contact with the sorroundings. With such a horse you cant win the race” 😱😱😱😱. I could not believe it. This person who was always so nice to me. And to whom I had always been nice.
    I suppose this is when the mask falls.
    Thanks to HGs books I knew what this was all about and could continue a normal day or else my day would have been destroyed.
    Things like this make recovery a bit hard but alternating recovery school with HG school I am going to make it 😃😃.
    Have a very nice day all of you.
    Thanks HG for posting 😘

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  6. Never seen so many losers in one place….
    Just because someone has charisma and personality, and doesn’t take any shit from anyone, you feel the need to label them as a “Narc”?
    Just grow a set a balls and move on with your life!
    Fuel?! Please
    Just accept the fact that your man moved on to better things, and you should do the same instead of coming here and trying to justify why you got dumped, labeling your ex with some kind of mental disorder.
    They’re happy with someone else, and you’re reading posts about Narcs every day. Who has the mental disorder you or them???

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    1. You mention a very important piece there. One has to move on and forgive the other person even if he is happy with somebody else.
      Forgiveness is such a powerful and beautifuk word.
      This place has been invaluable for me to all what I have learned here. Sometimes I just cant say it enough and some people dont understand it because the purpose in my life is to improve the relationship with narcissistic people and the best way is to learn about them and how they function.
      And it works. Like my comment above. When I heard this horse sentence. Of course this is like a piercing needle, but inmediatly I thought. This persons construct got hurt because of my negative to go to lunch, as I can really not afford to be sicker, I still have 6 hours more to go of work, i just dispensed the comment and continued to be myself and finished. Yeah the horse is pretty sick and cant even stand up. I dont believe this attitude is putting myself down. I see it as an arrangement that has to be taken to be able to live together with people that think and act differently. Dont know if it makes sense…

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