The Midults’ guide to...
Just saying no
SOMETIMES IT FEELS as though we have so much love to give. So much to contribute. At other times, it just feels as though everyone wants a piece. And not in a sexy way. The dishwasher wants to be emptied. The fridge door wants to be closed. So much asking. And such ‘reasonable’ requests. Oh, so we are the problem, are we? Well, are we?
Anyway, just recently, one of us, (Emilie) – a recovering people pleaser, is that OK? – was asked to volunteer for some chore that she really felt she could not deliver on. The other of us (Annabel), is generally left alone because of her surly demeanour. She has a unique ability to radiate silent fury.
In this instance, the compulsive volunteer needed to make it understood that it would not be possible to undertake this proffered task. But how? How to say no? How to be heard?
‘I don’t have time,’ inspires an unspoken, ‘ Make time’. Similarly, ‘ I’m too tired,’ nudges your inner demon into commenting, ‘Why would you be any more tired than anyone else?’ And so, in a kind of schvitzing panic, she said: ‘I can’t because my shrink told me not to.’ Unwittingly, she played a blinder. How do you argue with that?
If you push and nag and pester then you are threatening to derail someone’s mental well-being as advised by a professional. And that is not OK. And, it seems, the shame in passing on the directive of a therapist is far lighter than some flimsy, flappety hand-wringing, wriggling and squirming.
‘ Will you have sex with me?’ My shrink told me not to. ‘Can you lend me some money?’ My shrink told me not to. ‘Why do you never answer the phone?’ My shrink told me not to... Try it. Turns out it’s an inimitable way to look after yourself. But do us a favour, and keep it to yourselves. Don’t abuse it. Or it will lose its power. And we’ll have to think of another way to get out of almost anything. themidult.com
Brace yourself for 3 December. Whether or not you believe in horoscopes, Mercury is a bastard