saying no

Anonymous advice on getting fundraising callers to stop

Anonymous said to realsocialskills: I have done fundraising calling (different, but similar), and in the UK, it is illegal for us to keep contacting people who tell us to stop calling. But you have to be very unambiguous. “Please do not call me again for any reason, and take my number off your list” will work.

realsocialskills said:

Thanks for the tip!

Trauma doesn't make you any less of a person

Some people are really creepy about survivors. (Or people who they perceive as survivors, often inaccurately.)

They treat trauma like permission. Like it gives them the right to boundless authority over you.

They see you as broken, and they think that means they’re entitled to fix you.

They act like you don’t know yourself, can’t know yourself, and shouldn’t think for yourself.

(And they may repeatedly trigger you on purpose in an effort to make you feel disoriented enough to believe them.)

They think that every opinion they have about you is the insight that will heal you. They think that you are somehow obligated to accept uncritically any purported wisdom they decide to bestow upon you.

They think that their love can heal you. They act like their desire to heal you with love means you’re somehow obligated to gratefully accept whatever expression of love they want to bestow upon you.

They act like their perspective should replace yours. They act like their desire to help you somehow obligates you to agree with everything they think.

They act like you’ll be better if you let them take over emotionally. Like you somehow can’t be trusted with feelings. Like you shouldn’t have feeling of your own anymore. Like you should have theirs instead.

People shouldn’t do this to you. It’s wrong, it’s creepy, and you don’t have to cooperate with it.

You are a person. You are allowed to have your own feelings. You are allowed to think for yourself.

You are allowed to decide who, if anyone, you want to be emotionally intimate with. You are allowed to decide whose advice you want. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to disagree with people, even if they mean well and want to help. You are allowed to make choices about what help, if any, you want to accept, and who, if anyone, you want to accept it from.

You are you. You are allowed to be you. And nothing that happened to you gives others the right to try to turn you into someone else.

When people keep asking why you don't have kids

Anonymous said to :

I’ve had a hysterectomy and I live in a region where it’s very odd (like, statistical outlier odd) for a woman not to have kids by my age.

So it’s fairly common for people to continue to harass me about why I don’t have kids and not take any of the polite attempts at diverting the subject as hints to leave me alone until I tell them the truth.

Then when I tell them the truth they get mad and say that it’s too much information. Any advice for dealing with this?

realsocialskills said:

It might help to be direct about saying it’s a personal question.

I’m not sure how your conversations are going. I’m getting the sense that they might be something like this:

  • Them: So, why don’t you have kids yet? When are you going to have them?
  • You: Nice weather we’re having. But it’s summer and so it will probably rain soon. Do you think it will cause flooding again?
  • Them: Oh, probably. It usually does. But what about kids? Are you seeing anybody? Fertility doesn’t last forever.
  • You: So, I have this great new recipe for a seven-layer congealed salad.
  • Them: Children are a blessing. Life really can’t be complete without them.
  • You: That may be true, but I had a hysterectomy, so it’s not happening. Now can we please talk about something else?
  • Them: Why would you tell me something like that?!

It might help to add a warning layer before you tell them the truth. One possible layer: Saying it’s personal and that you don’t want to talk about it, then an immediate subject change:

  • “That’s awfully personal. I don’t like to talk about this.”
  • “That’s private medical information.”

Another possible layer: Asking rhetorical questions that warn them that they might not actually want an answer. This can make it harder for them to blame you, and more likely that they’ll back off:

  • “Do you really want the gory medical details?”
  • “That’s a very personal question. Do you really want to ask that?”
  • “Are you sure you want an answer to that?”

Another possibility: Answering the question in a way that’s a bit less graphic but still gets the point across:

  • “It just hasn’t been in the cards.”
  • “I can’t have children.”
  • “I’m sterile.”
  • “It’s not medically possible.”

If you’re in the South, there are some nuances about how to make people feel bad about asking inappropriate questions that I don’t really understand. (Which is part of the reason I don’t live there anymore.) It’s mostly a matter of affect. I know that it involves inserting a certain kind of pause and icy body language that tells someone they’ve crossed a line, but I don’t know how to do it or describe it well. If anyone who is better at that wants to weigh in, that would be welcome.

tl;dr If your attempts at subtly deflecting intrusive questions are failing, it can help to more explicitly say that the question is too personal and that you don’t want to answer it.

Anyone else want to weigh in? Do people intrusively ask you why you don’t have kids? Is there something that gets them to stop (or that makes you feel better)? Do you have experience dealing with this around other intrusive personal questions?

Disability doesn't make it ok to be creepy

Content warning: This post is about sexual creepiness, sexual assault, and using disability as an excuse to violate boundaries. Proceed with caution.


Anonymous said to :

How do you call out a disabled person who is saying they should get to do creepy or mean things because of their disability, without being ableist yourself? I know a guy in a wheelchair who will grope and touch women when they sit down next to him, and he has done this to me. And he’ll say things like, “Come on, I’m in a wheelchair.” if you try to move or act uncomfortable. And he says because most women aren’t nice to him, he should get to know a female’s touch.

realsocialskills said:


This guy is using other people’s desire to be good people as a weapon to get away with groping women. That is not something you need to have any tolerance for whatsoever. He’s doing something awful and he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s violating people and then manipulating them into feeling like bad people for objecting. That’s a horrible thing to do.


And it seems like it’s working, given that you’re concerned that you might be wrong to tell him to stop, or that you might have to be very careful about how you do it.


This dude is groping people and telling them off for objecting. There are absolutely no circumstances under which that is an ok thing to do, and you don’t owe him a pass on it just because he’s marginalized by ableism. That’s the most important thing about this situation. It’s absolutely ok and important to insist that he knock it off.


It’s not ok to grope people. Being lonely doesn’t make it ok to grope people. Being marginalized and desexualized doesn’t make it ok to grope people. People with disabilities are often seen as non-adult and therefore nonsexual, and that’s a horrible thing to experience. That doesn’t mean that others owe them sex, and it doesn’t give them the right to grope people. The only thing that makes it ok to touch another person in a sexual way is consent.


It’s ok to insist that this dude stop groping people even if you have some ableist attitudes towards him (You probably do. Most people, including people with disabilities, have some ableist attitudes, and most people are more ableist towards people they have good reason to dislike.) You don’t have to wait to be perfectly free of all bigotry before you’re allowed to decide who you do and don’t want touching you in a sexual way. 


If you want to tell this dude to stop groping people, I think the best way is to just completely refuse to engage with any of the excuses he’s making. The overriding issue here is that he’s violating people in a sexual way. It’s not ok for him to do that, and it’s not ok for him to tell people they’re wronging him by objecting. It’s better not to let him change the subject to ableism when you’re telling him to stop groping people.


I’m sorry you’re having to face this situation. He shouldn’t be acting this way.

Developing the ability to piss other people off (or even to RISK pissing them off) without knuckling under is pretty much the Holy Grail of emotionally abused kids, I think. We are programmed to respond at the first sign of displeasure, and we don’t have the faith in ourselves and our decisions to weather the storm– or even a mild sprinkle– so we tend to freak out as if the world was ending if a cloud crosses the sun. We freak out about the possibility that we’re wrong, that we’re doing the wrong things, that we’re making the wrong choices, that we’ll make someone angry, because there’s this awful certainty lurking at the back of our minds that says “If you do the wrong thing, you will be in TROUBLE.” And being in TROUBLE is the worst thing, ever, because that part of our brain is forever three years old where our parents are our whole world and being in TROUBLE is the end of everything.

It takes a lot of practice to gain that sort of gut-level knowledge that we’re strong enough to handle this stuff and that the world doesn’t end if someone else is angry at us. It’s not an innate quality that some people have and some don’t; people who grow up in non-abusive homes learn it when they’re young, is all, and the rest of us have to learn it when we’re grown up. And it sucks, and it’s not fair, and it’s not fun, but there’s no getting around it, and you can do it, you CAN.

You can piss people off.

You can be wrong.

You can fuck up.

You can do stuff that everyone thinks is weird.

AND IT IS ALL OKAY. The world won’t end. You will still be a good person. And the likelihood is that most of the things you do WON’T be wrong, and WON’T piss people off, and WON’T be up-fuckery, and WON’T be weird, but if it is? The hell with it; fix it, if necessary, and move on.
PomperaFirpa @Captain Awkward (via awakeforyears)

I was conditioned from a really young age to be passive and go along with whatever was happening (mostly because of my dad’s temper. He was never abusive but he was very angry and it was never worth the battle to disagree with him), so now everytime i get into a disagreement or heated discussion with someone I end up crying and choking up to the point that I can’t get a sentence out. Do you have any advice for being able to argue inspite of this?
realsocialskills said:
 
A few suggestions:
 
It might help to communicate more slowly when things aren’t urgent. For instance:
  • Some conversations might be possible for you to have over email, but not in person
  • It’s ok to say “let’s move this conversation to email so I can figure out what I think without melting down”
  • It’s also ok to need to pause the conversation from time to time
  • Needing the conversation to be over for a while doesn’t mean you’ve conceded the point
  • Some things are urgent, but a lot of conversations can be slowed down

Learn to use the word “maybe”:

  • It’s ok not to know what you want
  • It’s ok not to know whether you’re ok with something
  • It’s ok to need time to figure it out
  • “Maybe” is an important word, you don’t always have to say yes or no immediately

It might help not to rely so much on your voice:

  • A lot of people who can’t get words out for various reasons can still type
  • You might find that typing is more reliable than speech for you when a conversation gets emotionally intense
  • An iPad can be really useful for this since it is very portable
  • You can use a text-to-speech app (Verbally is a free one, Proloquo4Text is a dramatically better but also more expensive one),
  • Or you can even type in Notes and show the screen to the person you’re talking to
  • Or sometimes typing the thing first can make it possible to say the thing with your voice.

It might help to make less eye contact:

  • If you’re intimidated, looking at someone’s face can make matters worse
  • If you aren’t looking at their face, it might be easier to think and speak
Do any of y'all have suggestions for things that help with this?

On not opening a discussion

I would probably do this: The first time, just pull away. That should give them a message. If they keep doing it just as often, the next time, say something low-key like “Please don’t touch my leg” or “I’d rather not hold hands” or “I prefer not to be touched” or just “Sorry, no” while pulling away. That should give them a message. If they keep doing it just as often, the next time give a firmer message like “It bothers me when you touch me like that.” That should open a discussion.
realsocialskills said:
I mostly agree with you. I think that you’ve described a good progression of ways to assert a boundary.
The point I disagree with you on is that you’ve described this as a way to open a discussion. I don’t think this is about opening discussion; I think it’s about asserting a boundary. The OP does not have to negotiate with her friend. She doesn’t have to convince her that she has good reasons not to want to be touch. OP can have this as a unilateral boundary.
“Don’t touch me” means “don’t touch me”. It doesn’t mean “let’s have an extended emotionally fraught conversation about your desire to touch me.”
If the OP wants to have that conversation with her friend, it’s ok to do that - but it really sounded to me like she just wanted her to stop. And that’s ok too.

sabrieln7:

aura218:

realsocialskills:

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

Anonymous asked:

Your most recent post about physical boundaries really hits home with me because I’m a butch lesbian and I’ve noticed that, the more I stand out as “different,” the more often straight / bi / curious women seem to feel entitled to touch me in exactly the ways you described. They freak out if I reciprocate the touch, and if I tell them to back off, they tell me I’m making things up or projecting my insecurities onto them or, worst of all, over-estimating my attractiveness.

It seems like this boundary violation is a kind of microaggression aimed at me under the assumption that my gender presentation is evidence that I’m a pervert with infinitely huge sexual appetites and couldn’t possibly have boundaries to violate in the first place. Most hurtful of all is the way more gender-conforming lesbians point to this attention as evidence that I’m “highly prized and sought after” and therefore “privileged” in some way.

 Not really sure what I’m trying to say, no idea how to deal with this, just wanted to get it off my chest and see if other butch lesbians have the same problem. It really bothers me. So far the only way I’ve found to deal with this without huge fallout is to passively allow these women to touch me and not say anything about it, but I really hate doing that.

realsocialskills said:

I’m sorry that people treat you that way.

I think this is a step above microaggression. Microagression is when someone does something that wouldn’t be a big deal if it happened occasionally, but which becomes a big deal when it happens routinely as part of a context of dehumanizing discrimination. What you’re talking about is a bigger deal.

You are dealing with people who touch you with no regard to your consent, and then insult you in sexualized ways when you tell them to stop. That is beyond microaggression. This is predatory sexual behavior.

It’s a big deal each time someone does that; it’s not just the context of anti-lesbian hate that makes it a big deal. It’s both the individual action and the context.

It’s also a serious problem that people who should have your back are treating you like you’re the problem. You deserve better. No one should be touching you invasively, no one should be responding to your boundaries with sexualized insults - and no one should be blaming you or making excuses for any of this.

I don’t have any good answers here about how to handle this, so I’m going to ask the rest of y’all. Are any of y’all butch women who have been treated this way? Have you found any responses that help?

aura218 said

I haven’t experienced this, but I’ve seen this happen in gay girl groups, so I absoltely believe this is a ‘thing’. 

sabrieln7 said:

I’ve seen this too. :-/ 

I don’t know what to suggest other than to just say “seriously, can you not? I don’t like that.” 

You’re gunna have to bring the tone down from joking to serious and it’s gunna suck, but if they’re any kind of friend to you, they’ll deal with it.

The need to “save face” may result in some fallout, but hopefully it will be temporary, and then the behavior will stop.

realsocialskills said:

Have you seen this strategy work? It sounds to me like the kind of thing that *ought* to work, but I don’t know from experience that it does. Do you?

mellopetitone:

realsocialskills:

after a recent serious incident in my social circle I’ve gotten more proactive abt calling out minor consent issues b4 they escalate. I’ve noticed treating it like something rly obvious is quite effective - ppl take “u broke a social…

mellopetitone said:

I think that “I don’t like being licked” is individual while “You know it’s rude to lick people, right?” is more broad, talking about patterns of behavior and expectations of behavior. The second one has the added effect of an implied assumption that you are someone who thinks it’s rude and don’t want to be licked. This isn’t as effective as “I don’t like X.” when the behavior objected to is generally accepted.

realsocialskills said:

That makes a lot of sense.

mis-andry replied to your post“Arguing isn’t always ok”
i would think if you argue with someone about their boundaries they would feel unsafe about stating their boundaries in the future, even with other people, even if youre careful not to cross them after this. thats why its not ok
realsocialskills said:
Yes, exactly. If you make it painful and difficult for someone to express boundaries to you, it will deter them from expressing boundaries. Even if you respect the boundaries after you resist them.

Arguing isn't always ok

… If someone acts defensive and argues when you criticize them for touching you, and from then on is very careful not to touch you, then they’re just nervous and don’t like criticism. That’s fine. The problem would be if they really act as if they have a right to touch you after you’ve asked them not to. Or actually the problem would be if they keep doing it, for whatever reason.
realsocialskills said:
 
I don’t think it is at all ok to be that resistant to criticism.
 
Sometimes it’s ok and right to argue if you think someone is misjudging you, but it’s not ok to have that be your default response every time someone says no to you.
 
Especially when what they are saying is along the lines of “I don’t like being touched that way, please stop.”
        
It’s not ok to resist that kind of thing, and it’s especially not ok to try to get them to back down by arguing about it. People have the right not to want to be touched. People who don’t understand this and put pressure on others to accept touch from them are dangerous.
 
It’s definitely better to argue and then respect the boundary from then on than it is to not stop at all. But that doesn’t mean the arguing was ok to begin with. (Everyone makes mistakes, and if you find that you have argued in a boundary-violating way, the first step is to apologize.) 
 
It’s ok that sometimes things hurt to hear; it’s not ok to try to make that hurt go away by arguing or otherwise putting pressure on someone to let you do what you want to them. It’s ok to be nervous or uncomfortable about criticism; it’s not ok to pressure someone else into making you feel better by doing what you wanted.
 
It can be hard to learn to hear no when you really want someone to say yes, it can be hard to learn to respect that and not push someone into something they don’t want, but it’s really, really important.

after a recent serious incident in my social circle I’ve gotten more proactive abt calling out minor consent issues b4 they escalate. I’ve noticed treating it like something rly obvious is quite effective - ppl take “u broke a social code” much better than “ur a predator”. but the more out-there the touch is, the easier that is. eg I recently had cause to go “you know it’s rude to lick people without asking, right?” which worked cos most ppl, y'know, don’t randomly lick ppl. still working onthis
realsocialskills said:
Have you found that this works better than saying “I don’t like being licked?”

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

Anonymous asked:

Your most recent post about physical boundaries really hits home with me because I’m a butch lesbian and I’ve noticed that, the more I stand out as “different,” the more often straight / bi / curious women seem to feel entitled to touch me in exactly the ways you described. They freak out if I reciprocate the touch, and if I tell them to back off, they tell me I’m making things up or projecting my insecurities onto them or, worst of all, over-estimating my attractiveness.

It seems like this boundary violation is a kind of microaggression aimed at me under the assumption that my gender presentation is evidence that I’m a pervert with infinitely huge sexual appetites and couldn’t possibly have boundaries to violate in the first place. Most hurtful of all is the way more gender-conforming lesbians point to this attention as evidence that I’m “highly prized and sought after” and therefore “privileged” in some way.

 Not really sure what I’m trying to say, no idea how to deal with this, just wanted to get it off my chest and see if other butch lesbians have the same problem. It really bothers me. So far the only way I’ve found to deal with this without huge fallout is to passively allow these women to touch me and not say anything about it, but I really hate doing that.

realsocialskills said:

I’m sorry that people treat you that way.

I think this is a step above microaggression. Microagression is when someone does something that wouldn’t be a big deal if it happened occasionally, but which becomes a big deal when it happens routinely as part of a context of dehumanizing discrimination. What you’re talking about is a bigger deal.

You are dealing with people who touch you with no regard to your consent, and then insult you in sexualized ways when you tell them to stop. That is beyond microaggression. This is predatory sexual behavior.

It’s a big deal each time someone does that; it’s not just the context of anti-lesbian hate that makes it a big deal. It’s both the individual action and the context.

It’s also a serious problem that people who should have your back are treating you like you’re the problem. You deserve better. No one should be touching you invasively, no one should be responding to your boundaries with sexualized insults - and no one should be blaming you or making excuses for any of this.

I don’t have any good answers here about how to handle this, so I’m going to ask the rest of y'all. Are any of y'all butch women who have been treated this way? Have you found any responses that help?

Saying no to unwanted touch

Anonymous asked:

One of my friends has recently begun touching me a lot, either by grabbing my hand or knee etc in situations that don’t necessarily feel they warrant such contact and don’t actually feel organic.

At best this is just a case of her being too physical and making me uncomf, at worst, knowing that I’m queer, it may be that she is trying to make me her “experiment,” despite also knowing I’m in a monog. relat.

I can’t tell exactly if I’m overreacting or not but either way, if this continues, I’m not at all sure I know how to handle the situation. It’s difficult for me to imagine navigating this type of conversation, esp if I want to keep the friendship (since I know what I would do if this was a situation with a man, or someone with whom I didn’t want to maintain a friendship).

Plus, being a survivor makes navigating all of this all the more difficult. I would appreciate your advice, thank you.

realsocialskills said:

I don’t have a lot of experience defusing this kind of situation successfully, so I’m not sure my answer will be a good one.

This is my best guess:

First of all, I think you’re probably not overreacting:

  • When people repeatedly touch others in invasive ways, it’s usually not an accident
  • It’s really, really common for people to touch others in invasive ways that are just-barely-deniable
  • People who think others are touching them in creepy ways are usually right
  • This is especially true if the person who is touching you invasively *used* to only touch you in ways you were ok with

Second of all, regardless of why she’s touching you, it’s ok to want it to stop:

  • There are all kinds of reasons that friends sometimes don’t want to be touched in various ways
  • If you don’t want her touching your leg or holding your hand, it’s absolutely your right to have it stop
  • If she’s doing this unintentionally, telling her in the moment to stop might solve the problem
  • Friends do sometimes inadvertently violate the boundaries of friends, *and if they respect their friends, they stop when they find out it isn’t welcome*

Things you might say (possibly in combination with pulling away or pushing her hand away from where you don’t want it to be):

  • “I don’t like that”
  • “I don’t want to hold hands”
  • “Please don’t touch my leg”
  • And if it is repeated, you might add “I meant it”.

She might respond by angrily denying that she’s doing anything wrong. That’s a sign that something is seriously wrong:

  • Telling her to stop touching you in ways you don’t like is not an accusation
  • It just means telling her that you don’t like it and want it to stop
  • It might hurt to hear that, because nobody likes hearing that they’ve done something wrong. But if she lashes out at you about it, that’s a sign that she feels entitled to your body
  • And whether or not it’s sexually motivated, that’s a major problem
  • I wrote this post and this post about that kind of reaction

Captain Awkward also has a post on unwanted and possibly-sexual touching from friends  which might be helpful.

Any of y'all have suggestions?

Social skill: Noticing a consent problem

holmesianhatter:

vdsdisc:

amydentata:

josiahd:

pepperpatrol:

realsocialskills:

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this, but I know it’s a thing, and I know a *little* about how to deal with it:

Some people have been systemically taught that they are absolutely never allowed to say no to anything. That their boundaries don’t matter, and that they’re not really people.

For this reason, some things you’d normally do in order to establish consent and find out someone’s preferences don’t work *at all*.

For instance, asking “do you want to eat a sandwich?” is a totally useless question when you’re asking someone who’s been taught to interpret this as a command. Which a lot of people have been, because they’re in the power of people who don’t want to perceive themselves as having power over others. So they use lots of things that *look* like questions and polite requests, but aren’t.

And people get really, really good at correcting identifying orders and giving every outward appearance of consent. Because that dynamic punishes everything else.

So you have to do it differently. You have to make more guesses (not the right word, but don’t know a better one). And you also have to ask questions differently. You have to ask in a way that *doesn’t* suggest an answer. And you have to remind people that saying no is possible. For instance “Do you want to watch TV now, or do something else?” is better than “do you want to watch TV now?”, but still probably not good enough. 

But you have to notice this. And take it into account when you interact with people. I know some of my followers on here know more about how to do this than I do — comments anyone?

pepperpatrol said:

I still do this even years after getting away from people who did stuff like that. :x

josiahd said:

It’s hard hard hard to unlearn that. When learning how to be that compliant is survival, and when you have a lot of experience getting really good at it, and you’re so good at it that it becomes automatic — even *noticing* that you’ve done it can be damn hard. Hard hard hard.

And it’s upon everyone who interacts with people who have learned this anti-skill to make it possible for them not to use it in their interactions with you.

And it’s hard to do that, and not something our culture really values, and I want to think a lot more about how to do that right.

amydentata said:

Consent is more complicated than asking first.

vdsdisc said:

I had a short-lived friendship that died because of this sort of miscommunication. :( We didn’t even try to do anything more complicated than hang out together, but when I would ask a question too opened-ended to contain the answer, she would get confused and upset and then I would get frustrated and upset and communication broke down completely.

The worst was, “Oh, what kind of food would you like to get before the movie?”

We talked ourselves in circles for ten minutes while she tried to determine my preferences so she wouldn’t fuck up and I would say I liked a thing and suggest a place and ask her if she would like to eat there. She would confusedly say yes(?) but using all the vocal markers and body language that I code as ‘not really, but I will’, so I would suggest a new place and the process would repeat, only with increasing confusion as I seemingly flipped through preferences and gave her different ‘orders’ she must agree with while she refused to state any preferences at all in case I got mad at her for them. I felt like I was taking advantage of her willingness to do stuff she didn’t want to do and couldn’t figure out what she did want to do.

Disaster. Sheer disaster.

I honestly don’t know how to communicate that there is no wrong answer and you can say no beyond adding, ‘there is no wrong answer’ or ‘you can say no’. (Which I have started to do, because it really is easier to just be blunt sometimes.)

holmesianhatter said:

I would like to chime in on this. I am an English teacher for Chinese students and I have to practically beat it into my students that it is ok to say no. In this society, when someone asks you to do something for them, you are basically expected to do it and that translates to classroom behavior. I ask them if they understand and they all say “Yes!” Then I ask a question about whatever I am teaching and they all look at me like they have no idea what I just said (which does happen sometimes). I have drilled it into them, by saying every single class period “it’s ok to say no.”,and “If you don’t understand something, I want you to yell “NO” at me!” (then we practice yelling “NO” so they can get used to it). I have also introduced “maybe”, “a little” and “kind of” into their vocabulary so that when I ask “do you understand” and only one or two people say “yes”, I can say “a little?” and then the rest will agree and say rather enthusiastically “a little!” 

I bring this up because those who are taught that they can’t say no have SUCH a hard time saying no that it’s generally a great idea to give them a way of disagreeing without actually saying “no.” You can sit down and have a chat with them explaining that you realize what the problem is and you don’t want to cause them any undue stress. You can both agree on a “maybe” term that can be used that means, basically, “no” but won’t freak them out. Also, telling them “it’s ok to say no” is a great thing to do, even though it seems rather redundant and boring and almost childish, the constant reassurance that it’s ok can be beneficial for helping the person who has been trained not to disagree. So PLEASE, tell them repeatedly that it’s ok to stick up for what they want and what they like. And if they don’t know what they like, take them to a food court of a mall (or other such place that could ensure a mass exposure to things they could like) and have a field day trying every type of food. Encourage them. It will be super difficult and rather stressful for them and they will pick up if you’re stressed out too, which will make them feel worse. So, remember to be patient (as patient as you can be, we all get annoyed at times but don’t take it out on them).

tl:dr TELL THEM IT’S OK TO SAY NO TO YOU.

selfcareafterrape:

realsocialskills:

When people say “I can’t” I’ll sometimes encourage them to say “I decided not to” or something instead. Nobody can predict the future, so maybe nobody can know for sure whether somebody would be able to do something if they tried some more times. However, a person has a right to decide to stop. They may judge that it’s so unlikely they would succeed that it’s not worth trying; and doing it may not be worth a tremendous amount to them. I also have a right to my opinion that maybe they can.
realsocialskills answered:
You have a right to your opinion, but you don’t have the right to have them respect your assessment of their abilities. You especially do not have the right to have them take your opinion into consideration when they’re deciding what they can and can’t do.
Inability to do things is real. And yes, I may sometimes be wrong about my inability to do things, but taking it seriously when I think I can’t do something matters. Even if I’m wrong.
There’s a difference between deciding I don’t want to do something, and deciding that I think I am incapable of something, or that doing the thing is unacceptably risky for me.
Even if other people think I’m wrong - I still have the right to assess what my limits are and act accordingly. And even though I will sometimes mistakenly think that I am unable to do something I am actually capable of, “I can’t” is still a vital part of my vocabulary.
There’s a difference between not wanting to do a thing, and reaching the conclusion that I’m probably not capable of doing the thing and that trying is hurting me.
I need to be able to acknowledge that I have limits in order to manage them correctly, and do what I can instead of pretending that enough willpower makes everything possible.
So does everyone else. In particular, people with disabilities who have been taught that we’re not allowed to take physical limitation seriously. But being disabled and physically limited isn’t a moral failing. It’s just a fact of life that sometimes needs to be accounted for.
selfcareafterrape said:
respect people’s boundaries.
respect people’s boundaries.
respect people’s boundaries.
If you do this, you are being extremely invalidating. You are being gross. Don’t be gross.
though- I would like to say, in some cases it is appropriate and okay to ask ‘Could you do it with some help?’
Because sometimes people say ‘I can’t’ when they want to do a thing- but they can’t do it alone. and if you are offering to help them do the thing, it is okay. But do not ask if you aren’t willing to help- or point them in the right direction.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, there are cases where “could you do it with some help?” is appropriate, especially if it’s clear that what you’re doing is offering help and NOT trying to make them do the thing.

pervocracy:

sexualfrustrationmama:

we don’t need to “teach girls to say no”, we need to teach boys to take “no” for an answer so that girls who learn to say no, who already say no, who’ve been saying no can feel like it’s even a viable option that’ll have an effect in the first place

Also: we don’t need to “teach girls to say no,” we need to teach girls to say “no” when they don’t want something.

My sex ed class taught girls lots of ways to say “no” to sex.  The problem was that they didn’t teach that this had any connection to your actual desires—it was just something you had to do. Which is not empowering; when you teach “you’re supposed to say no; it’s not about what you want,” the implication that girls’ desires and decisions don’t matter came through loud and clear.

It also implied, to the boys in the class, that pressuring girls and ignoring “no” were the only way they could ever have sex.  If girls are supposed to say “no” all the time, regardless of what they want, then maybe a girl who says “no” doesn’t really mean it.  And if girls are supposed to say “no” all the time, but heterosexual sex clearly still happens… it normalizes the idea that boys are not just allowed but expected to not take “no” for an answer.

We really need consent education. Not just about sex. About things in general. About what it is and what it isn’t, and how to communicate.

Therapy is a choice

Sometimes, when you are dealing with a really awful therapist, people will tell you “That is a terrible therapist! You should find another one!”

And sometimes that is the right thing to do.

But sometimes it isn’t.

Sometimes the right thing to do is decide not to go to therapy anymore. Or to decide not to go to therapy *right now*, even if you’re open to it in the future.

Therapy is a choice. And it is possible to decide to stop going to a bad therapist without making plans to find a new one.

one thing about what age it becomes acceptable to swear: it can vary not just depending on location, it can also vary depending on your gender and disability status, and possibly other things i know less about. if you are female and/or disabled, people may want to preserve your “innocence” and may have a bad reaction to you swearing at a later age than they would if you were an able-bodied, neurotypical male. this is especially true for severely disabled people, regardless of gender.
realsocialskills said:
Yes, this is definitely true.
It can also be connected to not wanting people to be able to have boundaries.
Cussing is a particularly emphatic and unequivocal form of “no”.
Some people aren’t perceived as having a right to that kind of power.