Saying “No” Isn’t Easy
by Anonymous (as told to Linda Johnson)
Some conversations just catch you off guard. Your heart starts pounding in your chest and it takes your breath away. When my best friend’s 18-year-old sister called from college and asked me to buy her a bottle of alcohol, I was stunned. I had to pause before I answered her. It seemed like a simple request. I thought, but this is a really good kid and she’s going to college on a scholarship.
I said “No. I can’t do that. I know you’re curious, but you’re a good kid and I can’t do that to you. Your brain is still developing.”
She knows me really well. I’m pretty open and easy going, so she was very surprised when I said no.
Then she asked if I was sure and I said “Yes, of course I’m sure. If you’re caught I could go to prison, and I don’t want to go to prison. More importantly, you could lose your scholarship and I don’t want to be responsible for that.”
She had no idea of the consequences of underage drinking, or the awkward position she had put me in when she asked me for a bottle of booze. We didn’t argue or fight or debate the issue any further. She not only willingly accepted my refusal, she respected my answer, which was a big relief.
I truly care about my best friend and his sister, so I had to say no. Giving someone what they think they want, at the expense of their real needs, is wrong. When I consider the best interest of everyone involved, “no” was the only answer I could give her.