Last week, followers of Gin no Saji saw Hachiken collapsed from overwork. This, I assume, is the direct result of him not being able to refuse requests from his friends and constantly overthinking, worrying every little detail. Besides Hachiken, Mikage also has problem saying no to her family and insisted on inheriting her family’s business despite being more passionate about horses. In Asian culture particularly, saying “no” is a little hard. Correction. It’s very hard. And saying “yes” to everything, on the other hand, is very easy.
In Hachiken’s case, his mentality behind saying “yes” too eagerly and difficulty in saying “no” is because he is always trying to be nice to others, even though it’s at his expense. Whenever he gets requests for help, he will dutifully accept although he already has a long list of items to attend to. In order to catch up with his list, Hachiken sacrificed sleep.
As a viewer, a bystander, it’s easy for me to ask why? Why did Hachiken keep saying “yes” when he already have a long list of things on his plate. Well, according to the experts, we don’t have a full grasp of the amount of time we have, often over-estimating the time we have, thinking we have more than we actually do. That could explain why Hachiken had hard time refusing his friends. He simply didn’t know he is running out of time.
For Mikage’s situation, however, she didn’t want to to hurt her family’s feelings by refusing to continue her family’s business. And by extension, she didn’t want to create conflict. Also, she didn’t want to be rude to other people by voicing out her true feelings, as in the case of the its-sled.
What Mikage didn’t know is that she’s hurting herself instead by accepting whatever’s thrown her way. Or simply accepting her fate and not do something about what she truly wants and voicing out her opinions. This would eventually become a pressure point in her life if not dealt with. Come on, I’m sure it’s not easy trying to wake up every day doing a job you don’t like, or worse, hate. That makes life sucks.
The reason why Gin No Saji 2′s fifth episode inspired me to write my thoughts about saying “yes” too often and “no” too little is because such behavior is prevalent in my immediate surroundings, especially at work, and also to myself. I did mention earlier that “as a bystander”, “as a viewer” when talking about Hachiken’s case because if I’m in both of their shoes I’d find it hard to say “no” as well.
Last year, I was just like Hachiken. My mentality was saying “no” is bad. Such behavior is due to human not wanting to burn bridges by saying “no” as more often than not people take this as a sign of rejection, which may lead to loss of business opportunities or break relationships. Declining a request can get personal if the receiving party isn’t mature enough to handle it.
This is what I thought, anyway. Good news is all the stuff I said earlier are created and imagined by ourselves and ourselves only. Most people are able to handle rejection if well justified. I’ve started doing that saying “no” more often this year and life’s got a lot better as I spend more time focusing on myself and doing things I love.
What about you? Are you saying “no” enough?