June 24, 2005
June 24, 2005
NO IS HARD TO SAY
The Deluth Georgia runaway bride is a perfect example of how
difficult it is to say “No. I changed my mind.” The consequences of her pretending to be abducted and raped cost the county money in manpower searches of three days, detectives taken away from real cases, her parents, fiancee and friends wrenching feelings of loss and then, the cost to her and her parents for the called off wedding plans, the anger of the community to realize it all was a farce because the bride couldn’t bring herself to the embarrassment of saying, “I think I need to delay this. I believe I may have changed my mind.”
However, there are less dramatic cases where women will tell me that they can not let their lover/husband know what they are furious about, but instead rant about minor more “safe” subjects because they don’t want to lose their man. In the end they throw him out. I suspect that there are issues even deeper than they wish to state and really didn’t want the relationship at all. It certainly appears that way in that they would not give him a fair shake to change to be what would make the relationship viable. It is easier, after all to chisel away at it with nagging until the man can be considered the SOB and they the victim. (Actually. women often feel it is not “ladylike” to express opposition. A cultural nonverbal dictate which stems from the late 1800”s. Mores such as these that are unexpressed yet pass from generation to generation are extremely difficult to exterminate in that they are not identified as an issue.)
Yet, there are men who do the same thing. They want to be liked by everyone, so expressing an unpleasant provocative idea which friends, family, or loved ones disapprove creates too much discomfort. It is easier to deny, lie, or withdraw than face the difficult aspect of defending ones own opinions which may differ from the person or groupone is currently “running with”.
Identifying the underlying culture and the real issues will bring a better outcome. Some assertiveness training which creates a basic foundation of ones rights as a human along with techniques which allow pleasant communication without aggressiveness is sorely needed. Again I will recommend the book “When I Say No I Feel Guilty” by Manuel J. Smith, Ph.D.
Perhaps if we would stop trying to perpetuate the Myth that life is supposed to be easy, we might get down to business of making difficult choices run more smoothly.