When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

01 Feb 1975

by Manuel J. Smith

Sarah Deane, a new teaching fellow at Bowmouth College, is determined to solve the mystery when the body of a student is found frozen in an ice sculpture.


Pages: 324

Publisher: Bantam

Overall: 62% of the 76 mentions are positive, 34% are neutral and 4% are negative.



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76 mentions sorted by:
  • "Givers have to set limits because Takers will not". -Some Reddit user a while back. If you don't set limits and boundaries for yourself; no one else will. There are two books that have helped me deal with similar tendencies. When I Say No I Feel Guilty and No More Mr. Nice Guy. Both are very good books based on sound psychological premises; as opposed to other books I read that were theology based. As a side note; theological books may help some people; they just didn't fit for me. I wanted books based on observation and scientific study. More to the point; they help in identifying where you need boundaries and communication techniques and styles to help navigate the conversation smoothly away from those topics. It's not necessarily an age issue; it's just personal boundaries but those are changed and updated with age. Since many people can view a passive person as someone to be taken advantage of; they target them and as we get older we typically acquire more resources that other people want. So more hands come out trying to take what you've earned. It's shitty to have some of the closest people in your life trying to take what's yours; if you'll give it up. This will also mean that you're going to have some hard decisions about who will remain in your life. If the 'takers' cannot stop and be decent self sufficient human beings you'll have to cut loose of them. Some people of value may be cut loose; and in the end; it'll probably be better for both of you that way. Good luck
    4 points in /r/AskMenOver30 by stonewall1979 | 23 May 2017
  • > Refers to herself often as "the breadwinner..." ugh Often when the wife outearns the husband by a high enough margin; she has a harder time respecting him which means she has a harder time being sexually attracted to him. From what you wrote this dynamic seems to be playing out in your marriage. > I always cave. Always. I have a running joke that she has never ever been wrong; because I always bite the bullet and apologize. > Divorce; cheating; not options (kids); and she knows it. So she can take you for granted. And because she needs sex less than you; she holds all the cards and has zero reasons to change. You're walking on eggshells and avoiding conflict hoping for pity sex. This is a very unhealthy dynamic but the good news is that you can stop it on your end immediately. Read When I Say No I Feel Guilty and No More Mr. Nice Guy. Good luck!
    3 points in /r/DeadBedrooms by you_done_messed_up | 20 May 2017
  • Another good book to start with is "When I Say No; I Feel Guilty". - Manuel J. Smith Full of real life examples on how to deal with manipulation; stick to your guns; and yah; some real paradigm shifting attitudes. Really helped me when I started out. Sounds like you are just starting. Keep reading; the sidebar is full of awesome info; as are the books recommended here. The more you expose yourself to a realistic and healthier mindset; the more you'll internalize it. Growing up is a life-long campaign; don't expect it to happen overnight. You're undoing all the old beliefs and behavior patterns that come from them. Give it time; things get easier.
    1 points in /r/asktrp by Terminal-Psychosis | 13 May 2017
  • If he can't tell the difference he needs his ears cleaned out. With a power drill. From the opposite side. Cause he doesn't have a hearing problem; he has a listening-to-his-mate problem. And a (lack of) thinking problem. I'll borrow from WessenRhein's post with this modification: His mommy doesn't think she's the Number Three Parent; she thinks she's the Number ONE Parent. You are apparently a day-care provider; expected to keep her up to date on HER child. Please excuse my lack of politeness: Fuck that noise. MIL's expectations are beyond unreasonable. They're beserk. D(u)H is enmeshed; enabling & requires getting his head set straight right now. 1. You grew LO inside you & gave birth. YOU are the #1 parent. 2. He's #2; his required loyalty is to you and LO. 3. His Mommy isn't parent # anything. Not 3; not 27; not 203. Grandparenting (her role) is to assist & support the two of you. It's a privilege rather than a right. She's un-entitled to ANY information; y'all share with her what you jointly agree is appropriate. This means two yesses are required: Y'all agree. Either of you says 'no' about sharing a particular piece of information; it remains un-shared. Cause His Mate & His Child come before His Mommy. Maybe when he was nine years old; Mommy came first. Seeing as how he's married to you & is LO's father; Mommy is no longer #1. Speaking directly to DH: Bud; grow the fuck up. Stop expecting your MATE; the woman who has partnered with you in adult life (& who not incidentally shares her heart; mind & body with you) to Keep Your Mommy Happy^tm Mommy is entitled to nothing. She gets what the two of you; as adults; graciously share. It's not your Partner's responsibility to prioritize communication with your mother over taking care of LO; taking care of herself or over anything. Your mother's expectations are beyond unreasonable; they're NUTS. One doesn't reason with crazy; one imposes limits. Calmly; rationally; firmly. It's excellent practice for when LO is three; cause Mommy is acting like an entitled three year old. Be fair; friendly & FIRM. If she tantrums; put her in time out - cut communication entirely for a week. Every time a time out is required; it should be double the previous one: 2X; 4X; 8X. This progression tends to; ah; Get the Offender's Attention and to convince them you're serious (you are). Your mom isn't a reporter or newscaster. It's Not Her Job to find & breathlessly report the details of other folks lives even if she thinks it is. You might want to look into When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover. They're excellent resources for a guy interested in being a Man. And love & respect your Mate. She's earned it: Your mother raised you; your Mate CHOSE you.
    15 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 11 May 2017
  • Tell him this.

    "SIL gets loud; weepy and dramatic and MIL does the guilt tripping thing and you just want to avoid it completely. But while you're avoiding it; I'm resenting them more and more; to the point where I prefer not to attend family gatherings much anymore or visit their home."

    He can't avoid dealing with this. That is; unless he's willing to forgo a genuine relationship with a mate. This isn't him; it's fact. He could do this indefinitely as a single guy; even though it's damaging to his own mental health.

    In a committed relationship with you (or any reasonable; grounded adult female); he can't. Doing so breaks your relationship cause it denies the giant; weeping open sore of his dysfunctional (and frankly abusive) parent & sibling. It denies your feelings; which are reality-based.

    He can't do this (deny your feelings) & tell you to cope via denial & avoidance without causing fundamental damage to your union.

    This is what so many D(amaged)Husbands fail to grasp. His coping mechanism damages him; damages you & allows the sore to fester.

    He's no longer a boy. Chronologically; he's an adult. To be a Man; not just a post-teen guy; he has to find his center & stand on his own feet; independent of his toxic mommy & sister.

    Counseling / therapy will almost certainly accelerate healing. Until he's ready; see if he'll read When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.

    And /u/madpiratebippy recommends (comments are hers):

    Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.

    This was THE BOOK that started to set me free. It's a must read book for people with narc/abusive parents and their partners; in my opinion.

     

    Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Buck

    is a classic about how to see the manipulative patterns from abusive parents and get free of them.

     

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.

    Man has a PhD in manipulation; and breaks down what the manipulators DO and how to shut it down. He's studied this for 20 years and it's AMAZING.

     

    All five of these recommendations probably cost less than an hour of counseling; certainly less than two. Should he read (and re-read) them all; he WILL be changed (for the better) by a new-to-him understanding of both his toxic family & how to deal with them.
    8 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 26 Apr 2017

  • He might want to benefit from reading When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.
    2 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 18 Apr 2017
  • >He told me that he was tired of being walked all over by his family; friends; coworkers; etc and he wanted to get better at drawing a line in the sand.

    Given his saying this; here's two resources he might find useful:

     

    When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.

     

    >Since Iím pretty sure I know where the initial stomping out of any healthy notions of boundaries came from; I think it could be a big step for SO to take with her but I want SO to be the one who makes the decision for what he wants to do.

     

    /u/madpiratebippy recommends these three books (comments are hers):

     

    Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.

    This was THE BOOK that started to set me free. It's a must read book for people with narc/abusive parents and their partners; in my opinion.

     

    Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Buck

    is a classic about how to see the manipulative patterns from abusive parents and get free of them.

     

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.

    Man has a PhD in manipulation; and breaks down what the manipulators DO and how to shut it down. He's studied this for 20 years and it's AMAZING.


    I hope you & he find some or all of these helpful.

    Milentless is likely to act out (shriek; scream; blame; gaslight; attempt to guilt and on & on) at the impostion of boundaries. Damaged personalities (like her) are largely incapable of acting like adults. She may be able to respond appropriately to reward & punishment (as a normal three-year-old might). Or not.

    Since what she wants is more; More; MORE interaction & time; telling her very matter-of-factly that she's driven herself into timeout with her demands is worth trying (just expect her to throw herself on the floor & kick & scream; either metaphorically or actually).

    SO needs to do this (his mother; not yours & she'll use any opportunity to blame you). He should be prepared for acting out & be as unmoved as an adult would be at a spoiled neighborhood three-year-old's screaming meltdown when told they have to stay out of your house; don't get to steal suckers & can't harass your pets.

    MiLentless can like it or not. The more she screams the longer the timeout & it should increase geometrically: A week; two weeks; four weeks; eight weeks & so on. This progression conveys that you mean it & if she doesn't control herself she may bar herself from your lives until the youngest of your yet-to-be children completes graduate school (iow; forever).

    If she learns to behave (snarky; passive aggressive behavior is disallowed & gets sanctioned just like the rest of her shit: immediately back in timeout or extending the existing one 2X) she may be able to spend some time around you.

    She can be decent (YOUR definition) or she's done being in your lives. Completely up to her.
    79 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 10 Apr 2017

  • >She hugged me and cried a little more and then quickly pulled herself back together when DW came back into the room and acted like nothing happened. She's never brought it up since then and neither did I.

    This was a performance.

    No maybe's; no qualifications. Turning on & off emotions to get compliance; months after the situation she's supposedly upset about; is textbook behavior for a personality disorder.

    Second hard indicator is that the interaction is all uni-directional: It's Always About Her.^tm

    >I had thought that; as DW's long-term live-in partner; my expected duties were to support DW with the grief over losing her grandfather; not to send cards to her mother.

    You're on point. You acted on what would be an appropriate & reasonable expectation by another adult. But it's not what MIL wants. In her eyes; her needs outweigh all else & you're supposed to recognize this.

    Her behavior is textbook manipulation. She waited until an opportunity presented itself; even though it was months after then performed her guilting act.

    >...I've been jerked around and commanded to apologize for imagined "infractions" for my entire life by my own evil family; so I'd really like to know up front if this was a case of JNMiL doing the same thing or not.

    Your upbringing has conditioned you to outward rather than inward direction; she yanked your strings; causing you to assume you were wrong. YOU ARE NOT. Your behavior was adult; normal & appropriate; it's hers that isn't.

    Once again; here's MadPirateBippy's reading list with her comments:


     

    Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.

    This was THE BOOK that started to set me free. It's a must read book for people with narc/abusive parents and their partners; in my opinion.

     

    Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Buck

    is a classic about how to see the manipulative patterns from abusive parents and get free of them.

     

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.

    Man has a PhD in manipulation; and breaks down what the manipulators DO and how to shut it down. He's studied this for 20 years and it's AMAZING.


    Here are two more resources:

    When I say No I feel Guiltyby Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.

    All these are; imo; guides to adulting. Get them; absorb them; live them.

    TL;DR: You did the right thing but doubt yourself way too much. Your MIL took advantage of your childhood-into-adult conditioning because she's disordered. Yes; this is a case of JNMIL. You can fix it - by changing yourself rather than her.
    3 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 03 Apr 2017

  • > He should love you more than he wants them off his back. He should respect you more than he wants them off his back. He should protect you more than he wants them off his back.

    OP; this.

    Your husband isn't behaving like an adult male. I understand that he is one; chronologically & physically. Internally he hasn't grown up. He's willing to throw his children under the bus to keep his mother from hurting him.

    He needs help. Without counseling / therapy; mentoring or an introduction to different ideas; becoming a strong; compassionate man who understands & behaves as a spouse & father (rather than a boy who is -still- primarily his mother's son) is a journey so long & difficult that he may never complete it.

    It's a tough road with help; but he can do it.

    Getting him to accept that he needs assistance is likely difficult. I hope he understands that very few (none) of us make it alone - adults accept that life's journey requires reaching out & eventually giving back to others.

    If he's willing to read; I recommend When I Say No; I Feel Guilty and No More Mr. Nice Guy as places to begin.

    Mad Pirate Bippy's reading list is also highly recommended. With her comments:


    Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.

    This was THE BOOK that started to set me free. It's a must read book for people with narc/abusive parents and their partners; in my opinion.

     

    Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Buck

    is a classic about how to see the manipulative patterns from abusive parents and get free of them.

     

    Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.

    Man has a PhD in manipulation; and breaks down what the manipulators DO and how to shut it down. He's studied this for 20 years and it's AMAZING.

     


    Counseling / therapy is even better if he'll consider it.
    6 points in /r/JUSTNOMIL by ManForReal | 23 Mar 2017