Sunday, January 24, 2010


This is going to be a difficult blog post to write.

I am going to say NO in this post.

I was raised to say yes, whenever, wherever I can. Growing up, saying yes to someone's request symbolized caring, respect, humility and love. Saying no, by default, meant the opposite of those emotions. I was trained as a child, to always give what is mine to others, even when I was not quite ready to give it, even when the needs of others were not quite that pressing. I was conditioned to be there for those who need help, never mind how they chose to repay you.

In retrospect, my parents raised me to be an angel, but I have to live on this earth. I have, in earlier posts, talked about how blessed I was to have met great friends last year. However, what was unsaid, was that I have also met a lot of dementors too.

According to J K Rowling & Wikipedia, dementors "....feed on the positive emotions, happiness and good memories of human beings, forcing them to relive their worst memories." My closest friends know and have heard of how they had affected me.

So this year, I am going to say NO to every one of them. I owe it to myself, and my friends who helped me through my down time when these people sucked all the positive emotions out of me. I feel that not saying NO to those who do not care about me is equivalent to me not respecting those who want me to be happy. Hence, without much ado...

This year, I WILL NOT allow others to hold me hostage in a place or an activity against my wishes

This year, I WILL NOT friend and follow, both in real and online life, anyone who brings bad vibes to my life without a second thought or a second chance.

This year, I WILL NOT allow anyone to disrespect me, my friends or my country.

This year, I WILL NOT try to help everyone in need. Some people do not deserve it.

This year, I WILL NOT hesitate to call cops on those whose behaviors border on the psychotic.

This year, I WILL NOT worry about what was said and what was broken.

This year, WILL NOT apologize just to resolve conflict.

However, this year, I will

Help my friends when I have the time, energy and inclination to do it, and do it without any expectations.

Stop saying yes when I mean may be, and stop saying may be when I mean no.

Keep trying out new things, but also say no when I feel like it.

I have realized that by saying YES to everything and everyone, I end up saying NO a lot to myself and what I want to do. Life is so short, I have to live it the best way I think it should be lived. I do not have it in me to save the world, but I can make it a happier place for a very select number of people.


Ramaa said...

Berry nice list. I want to do all of this too. Thanks! :)

Surya said...

Adding comments I posted elsewhere:

Thankfully, the people whose friendships I value have had it enough with my mopey moods and were after me to say NO and to look out for myself for a long long time. And guess what? They are never the ones to exploit my perennial YESness. Heh.

And the funny thing is, I can say YES or NO when it comes to money. I have never lent money in cases where I did not want to. Weird, huh?

have came across people who take No as May Be and May Be as Yes. Do you remember that part in Pride n Prejudice where Elizabeth keep saying No to her cousin and he takes it as a Yes? Something like that, but in far unfunnier circumstances.

So I have to say NO and in no uncertain terms too...

Another thing I have found was that our close friends never take us for granted. When I was writing the post I thought if this might affect any of my close friends, but no, it doesnt.

Krishna Kumar B. said...

Good one, Surya. I can relate. I've always wanted to do this, but always end up trying to please others.

Paulo Coelho said on Facebook: If you live to please other people, everybody may like you, but you are going to hate yourself

The Lonely Backpacker said...

I dont expect a yes, No, May be from you...

I just wish that you have a great life ahead:) (cant help it .. I need to say this..:D )

- From some remote corner of Tamil Nadu with a sloppy reliance connection ..

Surya said...

@TLB : in case you have forgotten, I had already told NO about three years back.

Shamey said...

'yes' and 'no' are paths I can see. Where is the hidden 'middle way'

Irishman in search of Buddha

L said...

Oh, very nice. Good for you!

I saw myself in that last one: apologizing just to stop the conflict. I used to do that in my first marriage all the time.

But eventually, I said NO to him and moved on, and now I'm married to a wonderful man who sees conflict as something to resolve together, not to win at all costs.

I hope your resolutions bring you the same degree of peace and satisfaction I found when I learned to say no. Hold to it!


cosmopolitaninternet said...

Than you for the help and advice regarding my niece,she told me companies weren't hiring.
I haven't met most of the people I communicate with on facebook and twitter and will probably never meet them,I just asked you about your height out of curiousity.
If I had read your last blog post I wouldn't have asked you about HR or your height.
Being a stranger in a strange land can be tough,I am in India and I don't particularly like it at all,even though it is part of my heritage.Good luck and try to keep everything in perspective

Surya said...


Asking me about HR is fine - I will not be able to help much as I am not involved in any kind of recruiting, but can give ( and did give ) whatever pointers I had.

I do not go around asking the heights and other statistics of people I barely know ( or even people I do know, for that matter unless I am buying them clothing or vice versa) - and you barely know me.

Yes, we were facebook friends, but it happened as you asked me to add you to facebook so that your can fwd me Helsinki event invites from your cousin.

So I find a semi stranger asking me about my height weird and a borderline creepy.

Of course I did tell you about this when I replied to your message about your niece, but felt I had to reply to your comment here too to set the record straight.

Being a stranger in a strange land is tough for me only because of the weather. And I do have a professional & personal support system - both virtual and IRL - around me.

To be clear, I did not ask you for support, but thanks all the same for offering it. I am good.