• Giancarlo A. Simpson, MS

“No”: The Most Uncomplicated-est thing People Complicate

I don’t know how you complicate the word “no,” “Nah,” or any variation of the like. “No” means no…like…literally. It's one of those words you learn as a kid and learn how to apply it in context. But for safe keep, I just googled the definition of “no” so we can all be on the same page.


No

So just to verify, the dictionary defines “no” as an adverb used to express dissent, denial, or refusal, as in response to a question or request.

Other forms of No include:

  • “I'm not sure”

  • “Lets just chill/cuddle.”

  • “I've changed my mind”

  • “Maybe later/maybe another time.”

  • “I don’t like that.”

  • “I don’t feel like it.”

  • “I am not sure.”

  • “I am not comfortable with this”

Where am I going with this?

It appears that this word is very confusing to a lot of people. Or maybe not. Maybe it's a word that you don’t value coming from a woman. Maybe hearing “no” invalidates whatever thought you had about yourself. Maybe “no” kills whatever possible experience you assumed was going to happen. Maybe “no” means your chance to be intimate with that person has now gone out the window and you will NEVER get a chance at it again. Maybe getting what you want is simply more important to you than the personal reasons why she said “no.” Maybe you aren’t so confused about no after all.


Stop Being Selfish

It’s time you stop thinking about yourself and understand that “no” is a complete sentence and should be respected. This sense of power and control that dominates your narrative is dangerous. Do better.


Acknowledge and accept that boundaries can be made or revised at any moment and abide by it. Do so can help make a person feel safe, validated, and supported. Too often women are placed in situations where they feel the best way to get out of it is to say yes. Recognize this reality.

At minimum realize that ignoring someone's decision to say “no” is not honoring them, not validating them, not supporting them, and not making them feel safe. This still may be hard to grasp and I don't have time to write a research paper on this, but I assure you, there are a ton of research articles about consent, coercion, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. Read one of them…watch a video. Educate yourselves.


In Closing

I have no unique way to close this. I felt brief yet I felt like I can talk about this for days. I recognize that this may not be clear either. And that’s fine. Maybe enough was said to generate thought to whomever reads this. I will take that. But what I do know is that conversations about consent and boundaries can be unique and specific to the person and its context. This is why these conversations, in its candidness, clarity, and vulnerability need to be had. Its time to be different. Its time to recognize that your insecurities manifest in very threatening ways to women and that “no” is an ok response to receive.


Songs to bump to: Ask a woman what she wants to listen to

Video to watch: Ask a woman what she wants to watch




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