Any Artists in the Fine Art of Saying "No"?

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    Apr 07, 2009 7:03 AM GMT
    I have a really difficult time telling people no. So for example, this past Friday at my internship, I was in the court library at one of the computers working, and this guy (yes, straight) sits at the next computer and goes on and on about how terrible it is that some interns save court documents onto the library computers, even though the documents are confidential; keyboard commands; how he wants to start a newspaper; and on and on. I lost over a half hour just trying to be polite about his thoughts.

    Another more pressing example is how I’ve fallen into dating two guys at once (which I don’t enjoy at all), so I’ve been trying to break it off with the guy I’m not really into. I want to do it in person, but when we met last I lost my nerve. I don’t have much experience with serious dating (this is the first time I’m breaking it off with a guy I’ve seen enough to feel that an email or a call would be inappropriate).

    So, if any of you have a magic wand that can make my timidity go away, I would really appreciate it >_< No, but seriously, I’ve always had a problem with this issue. I just get really stressed out about how the other person will feel and then I can’t bear to break the bad news. It’s a real problem for me.
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    Apr 07, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
    Satyricon331 said II’ve fallen into dating two guys at once (which I don’t enjoy at all), so I’ve been trying to break it off with the guy I’m not really into. I want to do it in person, but when we met last I lost my nerve. I don’t have much experience with serious dating (this is the first time I’m breaking it off with a guy I’ve seen enough to feel that an email or a call would be inappropriate). So, if any of you have a magic wand that can make my timidity go away, I would really appreciate it. No, but seriously, I’ve always had a problem with this issue. I just get really stressed out about how the other person will feel and then I can’t bear to break the bad news.

    There is no magic wand. The direct approach is best and you must do it in person. No one finds this easy. Some of us have been known to go on seeing people for no other reason that it's too hard to break it off.
    Back in my single days I was once in this situation with someone. He was sweet, naive, and very devoted. But we had absolutely nothing in common. For both of our sakes I wanted out but just couldn't do it. So
    I approached a friend of mine and proposed a scheme. The friend would run into us at a restaurant, as if by chance. My friend wold invite us over to his place for cocktails. My friend, who was an opera buff, would suggest that we listen to all 4 hours of "Tristan und Isolde." Long before the Liebestod my bf would have decided that I was hopelessly boring and would never want to see me again.
    My friend refused on ethical grounds. The next night I did the honorable thing and broke it off directly. No fatal wounds were inflicted. The bottom line: being honest will be best for all concerned.
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    Same thing with me. icon_sad.gif I get taken advantage of all the time, and not in the way I would have liked to be taken advantage of. icon_cry.gif
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    Apr 07, 2009 1:56 PM GMT
    TexDef07 said...Long before the Liebestod my bf would have decided that I was hopelessly boring and would never want to see me again.
    My friend refused on ethical grounds.

    Damn, I was following that, wanting to see how well the "plot" worked, and you never did it! Well, maybe just as well -- 4 hours of Wagner for the novice could well induce permanent brain damage.
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    Apr 07, 2009 2:20 PM GMT
    Satyricon331 saidI have a really difficult time telling people no.

    So do lots of us, especially depending on the situation. In the case of your talkative computer-mate, you might have offered him a face-saving alternative, versus flatly asking him: "Will you shut the F*** up???" which I know you couldn't bring yourself to do.

    "Is that so? That's really interesting, and I'd enjoy talking with you another time about it. But I've got this research I gotta get done quickly. You come here often? Maybe we'll run into each other again and can talk more then."

    ...or whatever similar words sound natural coming from you.

    And yeah, I've had the 2-guys-interested-in-me-at-once dilemma, too, believe it or not. And until I resolved it, lived through the TV sitcom farce of having to keep the 2 of them from meeting each other in public with me, or coming to my door while the other one was already inside.

    In most cases I took the coward's way out, just gradually becoming more distant and less responsive to accepting dates, making call-backs, and answering e-mails, until the guy finally figured it out himself, rather than my just telling him it was over. I tried to tell myself it wasn't entirely selfish on my part, being more a 50-50 sparing of awkwardness, embarrassment and hurt feelings on both our parts.

    But these were nice guys I liked. I've also had a few jerks who deserved, and got, the bluntest "No" I can give. Guys who forced themselves onto me at bars & public places, aggressive & obnoxious, and for them I don't pull any punches, no politeness wasted. There's no bitch like a gay bitch. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 07, 2009 11:44 PM GMT
    Problems with saying no often have something to do with not wanting to hurt the other person. But sometimes that can't be avoided, so being direct helps both parties. Just be nice and firm about it and if the other side has a problem with it, it's their problem.
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    Apr 08, 2009 12:05 AM GMT
    I used to have trouble saying no at work. Now with age and the onset of "I don't give a F**CK anymore" that comes with it, I have gotten better at it." I still have trouble saying no to friends though. Right now I am ripping music for a friend from work so I can update is IPod. I have been doing this for over 3 hours now.
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    Apr 08, 2009 12:13 AM GMT
    unfortunately sweety, its gonna hurt you to hurt him, which, is in the long run a good thing, however, right now, your just making it worse by not being honest and upfront with him, sit him down, tell him its not working, that you aren't interested.

    Don't sugar coat it, hes not two, but don't be harsh either, just upfront and to the point, no one likes beating around the bush for two hours to get an injection from a 12foot needle.

    I gotta agree with SurrealLife on the no thing, you gotta develop an "I don't give a fuck" for you and others, your strong enough to do it, but its the first time thats always the most difficult..

    Imagine the guy asking is incredibly ugly and asking to get laid.. you gonna say yes??? imagine its a women.. you still gonna say yes? just what ever it takes, first time is worse, every other time is easier..
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    Apr 08, 2009 3:30 AM GMT
    I'm awful at saying no to people. It's just my nature to always want to help or be nice to people. Yes, it bites me in the ass a LOT, but I still try to always take the high road.
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    Apr 08, 2009 3:57 AM GMT
    Hurting people is an art, you need to practice. icon_twisted.gif

    Really, do you think you are doing the person a favor by staying with them when you are not interested in them? If the person honestly likes you in an unselfish way, they they would never want you to be with them if that wasn't what you wanted.

    People get hurt by all sorts of things that have nothing to do with fairness in a relationship. Some people are hurt when they don't get their selfish way. Some are hurt when they can't control you anymore. Some are hurt when you stop letting them take advantage of you.

    So, if the person is mature, you can tell them 'no' because they want to know. If they are immature, don't let the burden of making up for their failings be yours to bear. Say 'no', let them get hurt - it will help them grow up.

    People, children included, can use 'sympathy' to control you. If you can't bear to 'hurt' them - they will be your masters.


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    Apr 08, 2009 3:58 AM GMT
    Satyricon331 saidI have a really difficult time telling people no. So for example, this past Friday at my internship, I was in the court library at one of the computers working, and this guy (yes, straight) sits at the next computer and goes on and on about how terrible it is that some interns save court documents onto the library computers, even though the documents are confidential; keyboard commands; how he wants to start a newspaper; and on and on. I lost over a half hour just trying to be polite about his thoughts.

    funny pictures ... usually works for me

    Another more pressing example is how I’ve fallen into dating two guys at once (which I don’t enjoy at all), so I’ve been trying to break it off with the guy I’m not really into. I want to do it in person, but when we met last I lost my nerve. I don’t have much experience with serious dating (this is the first time I’m breaking it off with a guy I’ve seen enough to feel that an email or a call would be inappropriate).

    funny pictures ... it's like pulling off a band aid, the quicker the better

    So, if any of you have a magic wand that can make my timidity go away, I would really appreciate it >_< No, but seriously, I’ve always had a problem with this issue. I just get really stressed out about how the other person will feel and then I can’t bear to break the bad news. It’s a real problem for me.

    funny pictures ... ya just gotta show 'em who's in charge
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    Apr 09, 2009 1:08 PM GMT

    This has been my long-standing issue with my boss in the past two years until she coached me to do so... little did she know that the person that I was in dire need to say no to is her! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_cool.gif