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Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”?

Old 09-02-2010, 05:12 PM
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Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”?

What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?

Yeah I do........and it sounds something like.....nnnnnnnnnnyes. Then I'm resentful. Does that make any sense? There's no reason to be mean or abrupt about it but it's ok to say "I'll pass.....but thanks anyway."

Holy cow Batman.......there are sure a lot of those questions that I need to really evaluate and think on.

I really like this step study. I've decided that I'm going to spend an entire month (minimum) in each step so that I can really get it drilled into my noggin and accept and understand each and every step thoroughly.

Here's a thought to go along with the step work.......what about "sponsors"?
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:15 PM
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For me, a sponsor was a very important part of my work and my recovery. We saw each other at meetings, talked weekly on the phone and also had somewhat regular coffee dates -just the 2 of us to talk about what was going on. For me, my sponsor was a life line and an accountability partner. She also became a dear friend.

As for saying YES when I mean NO - I realized how wishy washy I was... how afraid I was to make a decision and therefore I never said what I meant. I often said yes when I meant no, and then I had a big fat resentment when I "had" to do something I didn't want or need to do. I felt as though someone had made me do it, or I couldn't say no, what would they think, blah blah blah.

After I started working this step, this was something I made a firm commitment to change. I learned I didn't have to make an instant decision - I could say "Can I get back to you on that?" which gave me time to think about if I really wanted to do something or not. I learned to run things past a check list:

Do I want to do it?
What is my motive or desired outcome? Am I trying to manipulate someone or something? Am I trying to force a solution?
Am I doing something for someone that he could/should be doing for himself?

etc.

At first it was awkward and felt complicated.... now I can make my decisions quicker and from a healthier place. I pretty much do what I need to do, most of what I want to do and hardly anything I don't want to do.

My best lesson? "NO is a complete sentence."
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:57 AM
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"NO is a complete sentence."
Yes! Yes it is!

I always felt guilty for saying no. I'd say it, but the feeling was that I was being grumpy or unhelpful or "bitchy" from whoever it was I said no to. Then I'd second guess myself, and feel bad about it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:25 AM
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As for saying YES when I mean NO - I realized how wishy washy I was... how afraid I was to make a decision and therefore I never said what I meant. I often said yes when I meant no, and then I had a big fat resentment when I "had" to do something I didn't want or need to do. I felt as though someone had made me do it, or I couldn't say no, what would they think, blah blah blah.

After I started working this step, this was something I made a firm commitment to change. I learned I didn't have to make an instant decision - I could say "Can I get back to you on that?" which gave me time to think about if I really wanted to do something or not. I learned to run things past a check list:

Do I want to do it?
What is my motive or desired outcome? Am I trying to manipulate someone or something? Am I trying to force a solution?
Am I doing something for someone that he could/should be doing for himself?
Wow. This is EXACTLY what I am going through right now. I like your checklist of things, Cats. I had actually thought to myself a few weeks ago, "when people ask me to do things, I really should have a checklist to see if it is something I can handle." Then I thought that was too micromanaging. Of course, this is before I started my first step.

There are so many things i think i "Should" do. And most of them involve accepting social invitations! "Do you want to go to the US Open?" "Do you want to go to dinner?" "Do you want to see a movie?"

I am realizing that I'm so uncomfortable being alone that I have a habit of accepting almost all social invitations -- and then I either cancel at the last minute and feel extremely guilty or drag myself to whatever it is, only to be unable to conceal my disdain & quite often start some sort of disagreement as a result.

So. . . sometimes I think it's a wonder I have any friends at all! Which is just dumb, of course I have friends! I'm really fun and love to laugh. I have a lot of great ideas and great conversation. So why do I feel like if I don't accept all social invitations I will suddenly stop getting them?!

But that's not even the point. The point is ME. I crave alone time, but when I get it, I often become a mess. I engage in unhealthy alone-time behavior -- flitting from one project to the next, beating myself up for not finishing each project perfectly, smoking cigarettes, looking at pictures of my ex, making up fantasies about my future "better" life. . . none of this stuff helps me.

My therapist and I have been talking for months about my learning to be alone and liking it. She keeps suggesting I just sit and home and literally do nothing but breathe, listen to music if I want, and try to enjoy myself. Or if I'm not enjoying myself, let myself get angry and/or feel sad. But not DO anything.

I try to do so many things, but my feelings being supressed creates an extreme amount of anxiety for me. . . so let's say I'm in the middle of. . switching out my summer clothes to my winter clothes. (Not time yet, but an example) Halfway through this project, I will start to feel sick to my stomach and not be able to go on. Lie down. Get up. Start to reorganize the refrigerator. So now my clothes are on the floor and my food is on the counter and I hate myself for being such a lazy, stupid slob.

Not helpful, right?

So these days Im resisting the urge to fix everything around me. Honestly, my house isn't a mess, I don't need to reorganize everything constantly. I dont' need to look at pictures of my Ex. I can come on SR. I can read Courage to Change. I can cry. I can watch an episode of "Project Runway" without feeling guilty-- that I don't deserve to watch TV because I haven't done enough, blah blah blah.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:28 AM
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and KindEyes. . . in regards to your question asking about a sponsor, did you mean having an SR sponsor? I think that would be kind of cool if there are people who want to do that, to help guide us online as we work the questions.

or is that too big of a commitment for an online group/only make sense to do in person?
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
"bitchy" from whoever it was I said no to. Then I'd second guess myself, and feel bad about it.

is that not a shame that we are FEELING like that...?? but I still say no...because ITS THEIR ISSUE when I say no...NOT MINE....
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:20 PM
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wow I thought I was the only one that did this I drive my son nuts when I am having one of those days, weeks, months because i try to drag him into my madness . I find it so hard to sit still or stay focused and I bounce.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SHELLY1 View Post
wow I thought I was the only one that did this I drive my son nuts when I am having one of those days, weeks, months because i try to drag him into my madness . I find it so hard to sit still or stay focused and I bounce.
This was a huge problem for me. In effect, my inability to sit still or focus was my way of running away from myself.

I know that I lived in chaos for so long that I still had a need to create it, and certainly drag anyone down with me for the ride!

Time and a lot of work on self through the 12 steps helped me learn a new way to live!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:06 PM
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Thanks for the topic, Kindeyes.

Upon entering AA, I decided that it was an ideal setting for deciding exactly what kinds of interactions I did and did not want, and firmly putting that into practice.

Where I live, some groups are very huggy. Many people hug automatically, and even those who ask first are taken aback when I decline. Light touch in passing, or when saying something to me, is another form of presumptuously invading my space. So I'm experimenting with different ways of making physical boundaries clear.

Listening to unsolicited advice is another way of saying yes, of giving away my time and energy for the sake of someone else's feelings, when I really want to say no. Saying no is ultimately a YES to what I want to do, to how I want to spend my energy and whose feelings I prioritize.

Then there are all the personal questions about what I've shared, and people wanting to share their own stories. Oh, and people wanting to touch and/or play with the animal that accompanies me to many meetings.

Saying No in these ways is a recipe for hearing a lot of opinions, diagnoses, evaluatives etc.
People have expressed concern that I'm isolating myself from fellowship. Or that I'm suffering from "terminal uniqueness" or any number of other bingo terms. Their reactions and discomfort give me yet another area in which to practice that their reactions are none of my business.


Outside the rooms, saying No is getting easier. Holding my ground around professionals who claim to know better has always been really hard for me. I was signed up to be a hairdressser-in-training's color model next week, and found out today that he'll be using a technique that simply doesn't give the results I want, no matter how well it's done. To my surprise, out slipped "That method has never worked well for me, so it'll be better if you find someone else for that class."

Lots of room to grow, and I'm finding some middle ground and softer-sounding ways of getting to the same end results.
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