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Is it possible to say no?

Yesterday, hubs and I had a vigorous ‘debate’ over the issue of “saying no to people”.

What if you were faced with a situation of someone asking for a favour which is either very inconvenient for you or you simply do not want to do? Would you be able to say no?

Hubs view was that there are certain people whom it is impossible to say no to. Especially if it involves family members.

My view was that it is always possible to say no. Even if it involves family members.

Later on while I was in the shower, I pondered the issue again. And then I remembered an occasion some years ago where I found myself in a very awkward and difficult situation being cornered to do a favour for someone…

Imagine you were the youngest person in the room just minding your own business, and some older person asked you flippantly for this seemingly teeny tiny favour in front of a whole bunch of people in a room, using seemingly innocent phrases and word-twists “…since you’re going there/doing that anyway…”, “…since you are such a nice person…”, “…it won’t take too much time…”, “…it won’t be too much trouble…” etc.

Sure they asked if it was okay with you, but the request was put forward in such a way that saying no would basically make you out to be a tremendously selfish, inconsiderate, mean, ill-brought-up, disrespectful et. al. person.

It’s like having a murderer putting a gun to your head and then asking sweetly if it’s okay for them to pull to trigger. They want to kill you anyway, no matter what you say.

I was younger. They were older. I was weaker. They were stronger. What else could I say?

So after my shower, I humbly retracted my statement to hubs. Even though it’s not technically impossible to say no, there are definitely certain people and situations where it is indeed very close to impossible to say no to.

And here we are again, hubs and I finding ourselves in a familiar situation (hence the ‘debate)’. How can you say no to someone who has already made up their mind on what they want you to do for them?

Should we resist knowing it would offend the other person? Or just smilingly say “no problem” and bite the bullet instead?

We bit the bullet.


  1. I tend to cave and bite the bullet. But there are people I know who are so firm in their 'yes' and 'no'. Maybe they can say no..i don't know..but for me I definitely find it hard to say no at times. actually..most of the time. ahhh sometimes feel like a loser :(


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