All your life, you are constantly going through what you want and what you really need. There are times when you just cannot tell the difference, getting them all mixed up. ‘Youth’ and ‘the need for fun’ have been the top two popular excuses. While you still can, why not?

All your life, you are also dealing with what people want from you too. They want you to do something for them or give them something. Some are at least honest and fair enough about it, even though rather blunt since the first approach. At least they are not pretending to be all nice in the beginning, making you believe that they actually care about you and how you feel.

Treating you as if you are special, leading you on…

It is worse if you are a woman. In this patriarchal society, women are often – if not always – expected to comply, to be all nice and pleasant all the time. (Have you read/watched “The Stepford Wives”?) Make others happy and not be so bloody ‘selfish’, even if they are actually hurting inside. They are often made to feel bad for saying ‘no’, even when they are entitled to. Worst of all, when they do, they are often not taken seriously. “Oh, she’s just playing hard to get.” “Maybe she’s still not sure.” “Just wait a bit, she’ll change her mind.” “God, she’s awful!”

No, no, no, NO!!!

Sometimes they try other tactics. They keep treating you right as if you are really special to them, as if they really, genuinely care about you. Hopefully, you will feel bad and start caving in, giving them what they want.

They can try to bargain too with you. They will try to reason you that what they want from you will not cause you any harm. It will not cost you a damn thing. Come on, give it a try – at least for once in your “oh-so-rigid and restricted life”.

They can also act as if they are doing you a favour, as if they know what is good for you and that is what you need.

This is when you rely on your instinct and assess the situation. How willing are you to take the risk? Can you live with it after you make your final decision, whether it is a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’? Remember, a ‘maybe’ is just a temporary delay. Sooner or later, you are bound to decide.

Especially if they keep on pushing you, as if their whole lives depend on it. (No, they do not.)

Whatever happens, you are the first person you should be taking care of. Always. Know what you really, really want and what you truly need. Do not let them or anyone make you feel bad for saying ‘no’, especially if you feel that there is no long-term benefit for you – just for them…



(Jakarta, 18/3/2016 – 9:00 am)

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