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Jude's avatar

Why is it that when you say "no" to a person, they act like an ass? (details inside)

Asked by Jude (32101points) May 23rd, 2010

Do you ever find that when you have to turn someone down, or say no to them for whatever reason, they act like a jackass?

Here’s my situation:

Saturday morning, I was primped and ready to head off to my grade school reunion. Then, the headache started, followed by the chills, aches, swollen glands and vomiting. So, the reunion was a no-go. Bummer. I climbed into bed after upchucking a good part of my innards and all that I wanted to do was sleep. I was weak as hell. Then, the phone calls came. I let them go to voice mail. Four calls were from my one needy bro (all that he wanted to do was chit-chat. Nothing urgent). I slept a good part of the day and when I got up, I decided to call him back. I got his voicemail. I then said to him “S.., I’m quite sick today and just need my rest. It difficult for me to get up. I noticed that you called, I will call you tomorrow”.

He then calls again an hour later. I get up to answer the phone. I asked him if he got my voicemail, he said yes. He asked me what was wrong. I said that I’m quite sick and that could we chat tomorrow. He said “Okay” and hung up. He was pissed. I called him back asking if he hung up on me and he hung up again. I know the dude has not much going on in his life (he’s on disability) but, he didn’t need to treat me that way.

My sister called this morning. It’s our long weekend here (Queen Victoria day). Her husband is away and she wanted to know if she and my niece could come over. I explained that I was sick. She said that she understood, but, that Maddie was having a terrible weekend with no friends to play with and that she could just come and play with the pets. My sister also said that she needed to get out of the house for a bit and that there was nothing to do where they lived.

I reluctantly told her that if she wanted to come here (for Maddie) she could. I mentioned that I wasn’t in the mood for visitors, but, it’s beautiful out and if she needed to get away, come here. I’m really hoping that she doesn’t. I wish that I could have said no, but, I didn’t want to have to deal with the sulking.

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32 Answers

Draconess25's avatar

People don’t like being denied what they want. It’s a greedy society.

And I would’ve told her no.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because in their minds, you already said yes.

john65pennington's avatar

The word No is not in some peoples vocabulary. you could tell them you were on your deathbed and they still want something from you. you had the right idea in the beginning of your sickness….......voicemail. let the phone do the talking. you can listen to the callers, but answering, in your condition, was better left up your hero cellphone.

This is the way to avoid people that will not take No for an answer.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The more you say no,the easier it gets.
Just practice…we’ll start now…Will you come over and paint my porch,organize my art room and clean my basement?:)

Jude's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Hell, no! ;-)

She called, it went to voicemail ( I was in the tub) and she’s not coming. Yay, lol!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@jmah-Good for you! People try all kinds of things to get their way.Guilt is probably number one.Next time,say no once then put your hands over your ears and hum loudly the moment they open their mouth to speak! Another tactic is to ask to borrow large sums of money every time they call.LOL
Hope you feel better :)

marinelife's avatar

@jjmah I wish you had said no. You are clearly not up for visitrs. BTW, it is not people who act like jackasses. It is your relatives who don’t seem to want to be thwarted. You need to practice saying no more!

chyna's avatar

A nice way to have said no would be to say you don’t know if you are contagious and don’t want anyone else to go through what you did.

filmfann's avatar

Self preservation is an attribute I do possess. When I am sick, I know I have to take care of myself, and there have been times when I have told peole NO when I have been too sick to help them, and they have been very unhappy with me. I know my limits, however, and I know what is too much. People depend on me, though, because I so rarely say no to them.

dpworkin's avatar

No one in my family or whom I know would dare do that to me. you must be giving them a kind of permission.

Siren's avatar

Like @dpworkin said, I think half of the reason is that these two individuals persist even when you say no the first time because they disrespectfully believe they can convince you otherwise, and secondly because of some opinion of you they have formed “she can be convinced if I am more persistent and wear her down”

Next time, I would just be firm with people like this and not encourage more discussion by staying on the phone.

wyrenyth's avatar

I concur with the answers above.

“Nope, sorry, I’m too sick.”


“It’s been lovely talking to you, I love you, and I’ll talk to you when I feel better.”


”** click **”

It’s hard not to let people use you for a doormat, especially when it’s your family. But you feel great when you do stand up to them.

Silhouette's avatar

They only sulk if they think it will change your mind. People know a weak link when they see one. The first few times you tell someone no and mean it they pout a little. The next few times, they get a little angry and aggressive. The next few, they get used to the idea, when you say no, you mean no, all the kings horses and all the kings men can’t make you change your mind. Boundaries are a necessary part of a happy life, set some and protect them.

tinyfaery's avatar

Boundaries. You need to set them and keep them. Being caring and accessible to others won’t mean so much to you when you can’t keep up with your own needs. You’re a softy, and people know it. If I remember correctly, you have never even called anyone an asshole. Just practice “no” for now and we’ll move on from there. ;)

gemiwing's avatar

Humans hate disruption of pattern. If someone has kicked a ball fifty times and each time the ball goes ahead of them, they expect the ball to behave the same in the future. If the ball comes back and hits them in the face- they get upset. The pattern changed.

Once a new pattern has been established they will either adapt or move on to find an easier target.

janbb's avatar

Seems like my minions have given you sound advice @jjmah. Now you just have to follow it!

free_fallin's avatar

It’s a shame how people treat others. I’m sorry your good friend would have the audacity to be angry with you over this. It’s really unnecessary. I don’t think it ever gets easier to tell people no and some people will always react negatively when you do.

As others have stated, we are a greedy bunch of assholes.

dpworkin's avatar

again with the minyans?

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin were you offering to make me a burger with onions?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

That’ll learn ye fer answerin the damn phone!
Really though, your siblings most likely figured you weren’t terribly sick and so put themselves and their needs as priority one. Not nice and not fair that they pushed you. In times past (before I was born) if you told someone politely then true or not, degree of discomfort unimportant, they’d ask no further and let you have your space. What you can do is tell each of your sibling you didn’t feel like being a big baby and telling just how sick you were, that you had hoped they’d just excuse you for that day and let you rest up. None of us are required to give in depth details to defend ourselves, especially when others selfishly push. Gah, poor jjmah.

wilma's avatar

What I can’t fathom is that you are throwing up, and they still want to come over.
I don’t want to be around anyone who is throwing up, that gastroenteritis can be very contagious.
The only way I would be there is if you called me and asked me to come and take care of you. (hold you hair back while you puke, clean up after you etc.) Then I would do that for my sister, and have, I would do it for you too @jjmah
They should be hoping that you get better, for you, not for them.

Jude's avatar

“None of us are required to give in depth details to defend ourselves, especially when others selfishly push.”

That’s the thing, I felt the need to get into how sick I was – Gorey details and all.

I’ve learned my lesson, folks. Do as Nancy Reagan says, and “just say no”. Thanks, minions!

Oh, faery, you’d be proud of me. When Nikki and I got into LaGuardia, a lady in front of us was pissed off that her shuttle was going to take 40 minutes. She started yelling and taking it out on the girl who was working at the desk. The girl had nothing to do with it. Anyhow, this woman was making quite a scene and acting like a total jackass. She looked over at me and I said, “Listen. You need to back off. She (woman working at the desk) has no control over the situation and I don’t like the way that you’re treating her…”. The lady looked stunned, then shut her fucking piehole and went over to bitch to her husband. The chica at the counter thanked me, as did the guy behind me. She then went out of her way to help us.

**just wanted to add. Normally, I’ll say no. The girlfriend, I had no problem telling her that I wasn’t feeling up to hanging out this weekend. I may go over tomorrow, depending on how I’m feeling. She understand and just wanted me to get my rest and feel better.

My sister and brother are both going through tough times. When my sister called me, the message was “I just need to get out of these 4 walls and need a change of scenery”. She told me what a terrible weekend they had. So, that’s why I caved. I felt bad. I won’t do it again.

Jude's avatar

Anyway, despite being sick, the day ended up being a good one. Lots of me time.

I just woke up from nap number 2. =) I had the window open, the fan going…. ahhh….awesome.

Frank (my kitty) jumped up on the bed and landed a few inches from my face, then gave out a “purrrmeowww”. Pretty cute. I grabbed him and snuggled with him.

tinyfaery's avatar

@jjmah Good for you. You’re such a nice person.

Cruiser's avatar

The only people who can push you around are the ones you let. Sounds like you got a handle on things…hope you are feeling better.

MissA's avatar

Imagine your life like an empty room.

Only put back in who you’d like to be there…
and, on your terms.

Anything else…don’t apologize, perhaps just
explain that you need to make some changes
and are only allowing what’s healthy for you.

YARNLADY's avatar

Look in the mirror (not to be rude or anything) – why would you do it?

jazmina88's avatar

my pal asked me to sponsor her to go to good concerts. I said no and I’m afraid I havent heard the last of it.

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

If your good friend is really such a good friend he would not be so upset at your NO response. He would and should of offered to help you get better. Sounds like your good friend is too self centered.

Siren's avatar

@jazmina88: Let me get this straight: your friend asked you to sponsor her to go to good concerts? Does this mean she expects you to pay for her entertainment? If so, that’s a little ludicrous wouldn’t you say?

SmoothEmeraldOasis's avatar

Even family should know the boundaries of respect for self and others. Maybe this their way of being humerous?

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