Image via Universal Pictures.
You’re a strong-willed, independent woman, so why is there that one person in your life who you simply can’t say ‘no’ to?
As an only child, my father always told me, “You don’t have to be liked by everyone, and you don’t have to like them, too.” I guess I always sought a sense of approval from those around me growing up, and the desire to be ‘liked’ by my peers was vital.
Consequently, I became known to friends as the ‘fixer’: the one who was always happy to lend an ear or come to the rescue whenever there was a crisis – even at my own inconvenience. After all, isn’t that what true friends are for?
But where do you draw the line? And when can being ‘too nice’ be taken for granted? (Post continues after gallery.)
One of my girlfriends, Ashley, has always had major drama for as long as I’ve known her (over 10 years). She is beautiful, kind-hearted, and generous, but seems to attract misfortune. Whether it was yet another relationship disaster, money woes, or health issues, she always called on me for a favors. I’ve been there for the good, the bad and the ugly, probably more so than she has been for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping a friend in need, but it started to become so repetitive, there was an unspoken expectation that I’d always say ‘yes.’
The irony was, I was assertive in my job, and wasn’t afraid to speak my mind. So why couldn’t I just say ‘no’ to Ashley? I tried many times.
Each time I’d muster up the courage to let her down, I’d hear the angst in her voice and suddenly be racked with guilt. She’s going through a rough time, I’d say to myself. Stop being such a bitch!
But all ‘good’ things must come to an end, and a few months ago, I decided enough was enough. After a particularly stressful day at work, I just wanted to have a coffee, put my feet up, and relax. Then, like clockwork, my phone rang and I saw Ashley's name flash on my phone. Before I could even muster a hello, Ashley launched into another sob story about her current boyfriend angst. She needed a babysitter while she ran off to salvage things with him.
“I’m sorry, I can’t.” I said in a curt tone. Silence. “Is there anybody else that can help you?” Panic-stricken, I added, “I’ve been under pressure at work and just need a break.“