Lessons I Learned in High School: It’s Okay to Say “No”

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By Danika, TeenSource Blogger

There was a boy in school who I really liked that had invited me to a party. Of course, I was overjoyed! I spent about 5 hours getting ready (which is about 4 ½ hours too many), and by the time I was finally done, I had cooked up in my head a million different wonderful scenarios of how the night would go - all ending with us pretty much sharing plenty of flirty jokes and falling madly in love. 

Sadly, it went nothing like that.

Within about 2 minutes of being introduced to everyone, I was asked if I wanted to go into the other room. In my head, I thought to myself, “What a jerk, this guy doesn’t want to get to know me at all! What about all of the flirty jokes and falling madly in love?” But all of that soon became overpowered by my thought, “But if it’ll make him like me, why not!” So we went to the back room. When he asked me to do all sorts of things that I was not ready to do, even though every instinct in my body wanted to say “NO,” the little part of me that wanted to be liked by this boy decided to say “yes.”

I made two major mistakes that night. The first one being that I knew nothing about this boy’s past sexual history and yet didn’t use any form of protection (I did get tested afterwards and luckily turned out to be STD free!) But the other one being that I said yes to doing something that I wasn’t comfortable doing solely for the benefit of someone else.

It’s important to remember that healthy relationships do not just involve your relationships with other people, but also your relationship with yourself. Everyone has different values; take time to consider what yours are and remember that you are important too. It’s okay to stand up for yourself and say, “No, I don’t want to.” That is 100% your right. And unfortunately, because of our insecurities, we as people too often forget that. It took me some time to learn how to love and value myself, but once I learned, it completely changed the way I viewed myself and what I expected out of my relationships. And now, for me, flirty jokes and falling madly in love are a necessity!