……..does it really mean NO?
Just a thought which kept nibbling since a movie I saw recently on the same theme.
This is purely a personal and an individual opinion.
I recall mom during my childhood, giving instructions to me and my sister on etiquettes before any social visit to family friends’ homes.
If you are offered any snacks, first say “NO” and if aunty insists then have a few ,don’t finish off the whole plate.
The context, the times, were different as compared to now.
As far as I can remember that was the first seed of NO embedded in my psyche.
Over the years , the NO acquired different dimensions in my life.
Saying NO….when dad asked if I wanted something ,because I knew it would burden his pocket….while all the while wanting to say YES.
Saying NO….when hubs asked if I wanted to go on a foreign tour with friends , coz I knew his professional commitments….and deep inside dying to say YES let’s go.
Saying NO….to an extra ice cream ,all the while lusting for it.
The most important NO of my life was when I took a decision to have no more kids after my second child.
The lady gynecologist opens me up , removes the baby out, and I could clearly hear her giving instructions to a nurse asking her to consult my hubby standing outside the OT…about the finality of my decision regarding family planning ,before tying up my tubes.
This itself illustrates how weak or strong a woman’s NO is even to another doctor who is a woman first. Of course in her defense I must say she was only doing her job….
I see the same NO on my daughters’ faces when handling certain dilemmas, knowing the circumstantial constraints.
In all probability the place of NO is fairly common in a woman’s life.
Girls in general are sensitive beings , they think and feel deeply especially about their family’s social or economic status.
Their denial is therefore dual in nature.
This duality is well read by a sensitive dad who inspite of a NO goes ahead and gets the dream gift for his darling daughter.
A brother inspite of his sister’s NO wants to see her glow and fulfils her wish.
An indulgent boyfriend or a husband goes out of the way to make the woman in his life happy.
This aspect of a female psyche is interpreted differently in different relationships to suit one’s needs selfishly or selflessly.
However the most demeaning aspect of this is in
our Indian films which show the male protagonist pursuing the female protagonist employing every technique to woe and wear down her resistance to win her at the end.
As for me, surprisingly on the contrary , I have also always found it difficult to say NO to friends in friendships, going to great lengths to cater to their work first even at the cost of great discomfort, but it has been my call entirely as it gives me great pleasure to do it for them.
What about the Indian men , do they ever face the NO issue?
A case in point was a Doctor who was unduly taken advantage of because he was unable to say NO..which would strain his professional and personal relationships with other Doctors,finally when he realised the serious moral and ethical consequences , he was forced to take a stand due to which he faced a lot of flak and financial losses . Yet he stuck to his ground and is now a very happy man.
The same is true in every profession.
For the students , it is No to a lot of distractions like Alcohol, Clubbing, Expensive parties and outings and focus only on studies.
For many of us , we have to let go of some things to achieve higher goals,like a friend recently mentioned how hard it is to say NO to good food to stay fit and healthy.
NO,a very powerful punch packed word.