As a teacher and as a parent I have learned a few things about saying no. The first one is that when you say no you have to mean it. Saying “no” and then changing your mind when everyone protests just sends the message that no doesn’t mean no it means “try a little harder to convince me”.
The second thing I have learned about saying no is that you have to be prepared to back it up with a reason. Having a sound reason usually reduces the amount a student/ child will try to convince you that you really meant yes. Finally, in my experience, the people who try the hardest to change your mind are the ones who have learned from experience with other people that you can change someone’s mind. These students/ children are usually proficient at techniques that trigger an emotional response such as pouting, eye rolling, and making statements like “I was just trying to….”. These students are the hardest to deal with but getting them to see things your way is not impossible.
I posted recently about s conversation I had with a man I have enjoyed as a lover and his inability to u derstand and respect “no”. In my post I outlined my dealings with my ex lover and my very clear no. That, I thought, was that. How wrong I was. I received a couple of messages during the week about “accidental” messages automatically sent from social media apps like Snapchat and then whammo we are talking again. Well he is talking and asking me to video chat with him (he has been working in an extremely remote location over the Christmas Break). Of course I replied no. As I put my phone down I said to it “I am not going to fuck you.”
Of course he didn’t hear that, not that it would make any difference. The problem is even as I was saying the words a small part of me was protesting. He is attractive. He does have sex appeal and there were aspects of fucking him that I enjoyed. A tiny part of me almost believes that idea that it will be different if I give him another chance. Of course the rational part of me has to step in and firmly remind the positive, fantasy me of the frustration and dissapointment that is the most likely outcome if I give in.
Sometimes being the most responsible adult in the room is hard.