Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I had a wonderful chat last night with an irregular reader. I asked her a question about men that bothers her and she asked "Why do men say yes when they mean to say no?"
Her question was queried incorrectly. Real men do not say yes when they mean no. This is a vile habit of boys (immature males). The transition from boyhood to manhood does not come with hage, but with maturity. I transitioned in my early teens.
I believe in saying no often. If I am unsure of an answer (maybe, possibly, eventually), I'll say no but I will offer two choices. If I am sure the answer is no, I will say no. Why? This makes my yes answers more valuable, and it means I can focus my time better on the things I can do.
When I offer a yes answer, I stick to my guns about it. If I make a promise, I keep it. If I can't keep it, I let the other person know as soon as I am unsure of the outcome, even if I will try to follow through completely. Letting some down early is a key element of being a man. Avoiding the reality of personal failure is a mark of immaturity.
Why do immature men (boys) say yes when they mean no? They are afraid. They have no confidence in their relationship with the person they're lying to. They fear losing them if they refuse for whatever reason. A mature man who is able to say no will set the stage for a more stable relationship. He will let others know his boundaries, and then understand their boundaries as they will be more honest with him.
Saying no is difficult, especially in a love affair. It takes time for the man to date women to find one worthy of their time and energy. They fear that if they say no, all that time will be lost and they'll be back to square one.
I differ. I do not fear loneliness as much as I fear a bad relationship. Bad relationships start when one party is not honest and communicative of their wishes and needs. I am honest from the start. The minute that the situation changes, I will be the first one to notice and communicate the issue. It is better to work to fix a problem than to let it simmer before it boils over. Saying no is like taking a boiled-over pot from the stove before it has a chance to boil over.
Boundaries are so important in any relationship, but if a fear of loneliness causes us to lie and tell people what they want to hear, then the relationship will implode with far greater force than the minor reaction that comes from being told no for the first time.
If you want to fully be a man, you must learn to say no. No to your parents, no to your boss or manager, no to your lover or girlfriend or wife. When you finally say yes, they will covet that answer much more, and respect it because they know you will follow through.