What We Don’t Understand About “No”

Self esteem plays a lot into so many things in life. It plays a much larger role than we care to admit. It exacerbates many other emotions that might more readily be kept under control with sound reasoning. Words like NO, STOP and ENOUGH stated or expressed in action trigger such great insecurities in people with low self esteem. They really do have a hard time with these words.

Case 1
I listened to a conversation between two friends. It sounded more like a conversation between two enemies. The one girl was obviously on a diet and the other girl, presumably her friend, was trying to entice her to “enjoy” a banana split! The battle of “Have One and No” ensued. The battle continued until the dieter took off in a flying rage and her girl friend looked around seeming quite puzzled and expressing to an imaginary audience that she didn’t know why her friend was so sensitive. After all, she just wanted her to enjoy a little ice cream! You just can’t be nice to some people! She’d just have to call her to apologize again.

“Hello frieeeeeeeeeend. Don’t be angry with me. I’m so sorry you are having such a hard time losing all that weight. It’s just taking so long. Isn’t it? It must really be depressing you. You worry too much about little things. You shouldn’t get upset so easily. I have a wonderful idea! Let’s go to Monster Burger to drown our sorrows in a Fat shake. Mmmm. They’re so good. It’ll really lift your spirits.

Case 2
Sharp Blade, for lack of a better name, appears to be the embodiment of self confidence; she dresses the part and stands tall in social settings. She is helpful and articulate to the point where everyone is entitled to her opinion…her rather sharp criticism about every thing she chooses to comment on. Her friends’ clothes just don’t hang right on them. She has a few other suggestions as to how to correct the make up that makes another look like a she goat about to birth.

“Poor Jane could loose twenty pound, you know. It would really bring out her lovely teeth. But then is it really worth giving Jane any further advice because the poor thing just has no sense of style.”

“I don’t know why the poor dear insists on shopping at the local mall. No wonder she always look so cheap. The shoes she’s wearing today are from 4 season’s ago. Well, they don’t look too bad on her. They go well with her outfit.

Case 3
Amen Dive, is a church going lady. She never misses a service and serves on every committee that not one of those other self serving parishioners just refuse to serve on. She is quite friendly and looks for those she thinks can benefit from the leverage her friendship should bring. While she does not wish to be unkind to a single soul, she spends every available minute reporting on her latest ailments and reminding others of every possible disaster that has occurred in their lives, that they obviously have long forgotten about and laid to rest.

“Do you remember when your foot was crushed by a motorbike? You looked quite a mess. I forget how it healed. How does it look now?”

She craves company and attention and informs her friends in so many words how nice it is to be who she is…if only to try to convince others that she is not such bad company and not so alone

She throws sporadic Diva tantrums spitting out put downs through smiling lips to let others know how much liberty she can take with her friends.

She lets anyone who will listen know how family oriented she is because outside of her family, Jesus is her only true friend. Yet she hisses curses of annoyance about her family for not being at attention when she needs them. Your attention to her is Christianly love. I don’t know how Christ rates in her books.

Case 4
Jabber Jelux is always there for you or so it seems. She is there at your every turn of success. When you won the award for most organized desk, she was there.

“Oh! Look at you! Miss tidy desk. I guess they were only looking at your desk. Hunh? They should have looked inside your laundry basket at home.”

You look puzzled and she continues, “Just kidding! You know I’m a kidder.”

When you got that new hair cut, she was there.

“Missy got a hair cut! Such a nice style but now everyone will know you have that surgical scar on the back of your neck. Your hair cut looks awesome though. I love it!”

Case 5
Miss Sugar Cane, is appears to be as sweet as her first name. Her voice is soothing and her face is set in an angelic smile. She appears to be so gentle, you wonder why he parents didn’t name her Serotonin or Chamomile. When she listens she listens with such an enraptured gaze, you feel that you alone exist on this universe. You pour your heart out because you have finally found a friend…and then just when you stop talking, you understand why her last name is Cane (Be glad it’s not Cain).

Out of that mouth whips out an acid tongue, scratchy as the leaves on the sugarcane plant saying in a melodious voice, “I have had so many similar experiences so what’s the big deal. Just thank God for his little mercies. I don’t think that was such a big deal. Do you? You should plan your take over of the world next.”

Then the smile below the halo re-appears and you think you saw two little red horns but you’re just not sure.

You stagger. Your eyes tear up. You wonder if you said something wrong while you shared the challenges you faced before finally passing your bar exams on the third try.

All the names and characters in these cases are purely fictional. Any resemblance to any person is purely coincidental.

Now with that out of the way, it is important to frequently check our individual self esteem level, to raise children with a healthy sense of self and to exercise and encourage our children to demonstrate self control.

A person with healthy self esteem is less likely to feel the need to attack others irrationally, to attempt to diminish the accomplishments of others, or to seek to undermine the efforts of others. Further more, a people with a healthy sense of self are more likely be self aware and to check themselves when their ego seems to be getting a little too large for the “headcase”.

Don’t hate the hater; understand where he’s coming from, deal with it and move on because it’s not your problem at all after all.

Written by
Enitan Doherty-Mason
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