Being Confident in Saying “No” and Owning my Right to Decide
This year has been incredibly eye-opening for me in so many ways. One of those ways has been in realizing just how little people tend to value the choices and decisions of others. To clarify – I have noticed that people on the whole do not respect the choices that others make for themselves. This realization has affected me personally in some ways and has caused me to sort of weed out and reevaluate how I deal with these people.
As a woman, our right to say “no” and make decisions – any decision – has meant socially to include the thoughts and feelings of other people. If I am uncomfortable with something, going through something personally that has nothing to do with anyone else but me, or even how I wish to spend my money, it is a sort of social standard that I must consider other people when making these decisions, even if the cost emotionally, financially, or physically, is on me and me only. This is a realization that has bothered me for much of the year and there is no other way to explain things who feel a sense of entitlement or wrongdoing when they are not included in my personal choices that literally have everything to do with me and absolutely nothing to do with them.
Over the years, I have gone thru many twists and turns. I have dealt with such things as personal loss, domestic violence, rape, hearing loss, and other things. With each of these experiences, it has always been assumed and expected that I include and consider other people with regards to my dealing/coping and healing methods in these situations. It wasn’t until this year where I’ve stood more firmly in my choices, unapologetically, and said, “I said what I said”, meaning “this is what I chose to do whether you like it or not”
Respect of free agency is a requirement for me and I am pushing in education and awareness to helping other women make this respect a requirement for them as well. We spend so much time worrying about stepping on toes and satisfying others that we tend to forget to check our own feelings and be real with ourselves and say “hey this is not okay” in an effort to keep others happy while we silently wish we made choices that were more reflective of how we are feeling and the things we really want.
If you are going thru or have gone thru something and a person’s first reaction is “why didn’t you tell me about it first?!” before “are you okay? I’m sorry you’ve had to go thru that” or something related, in my opinion, the relationship between you and that person needs reevaluating. Women need to know that their pain is valid and their choices are respected. Whether a person chooses to do something another person may “disagree” with carries no weight if that “something” has little to nothing to do with them in any way. Just merely wanting to be privy to information should not change the relationship with the person who has had to deal with something often upsetting or sad, because the fact of the matter is: personal choices are just that – personal. If a woman chooses to include others in the things she is going thru and her choices, that is her decision. However, if she does not choose this, this is also her choice as well. Both of these decisions deserve the same level of respect, acknowledgement, and care.
My reason for bringing this to the forefront is because it is thematic. It is something I see all of the time. The woman’s choices are marred by and interrupted by the social standards created by men. In a hierarchy, women are regarded as less than compared to men where we should be sitting side by side with equal weight in rights and legislation. Yet, when it comes to every single thing that involves a woman, her choices, her agency, and her rights are lessened and deemed unimportant when she literally decides to make her own decisions. Socially, women are still seen as second-tier and this is something that has to change.