In an age in which using one's voice and advocating for oneself is praised by half of society and is frowned upon by the other half, it is difficult for individuals to find themselves and learn how to vocalize their thoughts and feelings. While saying "no" to unwanted sexual activity is preached to people, sometimes perpetrators still do not understand that consent is not being granted.
While Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely spoke her truth in the Kavanaugh hearings and unfortunately did not receive an ethical verdict of the case, we must not stop saying "no" to rape and saying "yes" to comfortably share our stories and experiences in order to alleviate future issues. I admire Dr. Ford's courage and am hopeful that, one day, justice will be served. However, saying "no" is unlimited to solely scenarios of sexual assault, abuse, or misconduct.
Rather, we must not be afraid to say "no" even to people who we care for. I am a people pleaser and have struggled my entire life with rejecting an idea in fear of hurting someone in my life who is sensitive as I am. For example, if my friend typically decides where we eat when we are spending time together, I must also allow my voice to be heard sometimes. We should both have a say in where we eat sometimes in order for our relationship to be equitable.
I come off as easy and flexible by always being agreeable to one's idea. While I can be a go with the flow person, I should be a leader in my interpersonal relationships and not always a follower. I can gently say "no" to an idea and compromise with a friend. For instance, an acquaintance constantly asks me to hang out, and I do not enjoy their company.
However, I continuously say "yes" to socialization with this individual because I feel obligated to see this person who may be lonely. I can potbelly turn down invitations to hang out and still connect with the person outside of a social platform if I still desire to be cordial with the individual but not spend time with them.
Sometimes saying "yes" is best for us, and sometimes saying "no" is our appropriate fit. We must use our discretion and trust our intuition in order to meet our own needs and not the needs of others. Saying "no" is inclusive of sexual assault but also spans beyond this concept. We are accountable for our own actions, and we create our own happiness.
If saying "no" will most likely provide us with a better outcome, then why not do so? If someone else is offended, then that's on them because we are only responsible for ourselves!