Friday Question – Yes and No

Friday Question – Yes and No

By | 2016-04-01T16:21:43-04:00 December 18th, 2015|Categories: Questions|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Friday Question: How it works

Every Friday we will pose a question for you all to discuss or privately consider. You can engage with it publicly here on the RFAS blog, or you can join our forum (details below) for a more private discussion. You can write it down to think about later, journal about it, or bring it in to a therapy session with you.

If you would like to volunteer to become a moderator and host future Questions, please email us at—or join our forum and post in the moderator volunteer thread. If you just have an idea for a future Question that you want to share, we have a brainstorming topic on our forum.

Something to Ponder Today

Verbal assertion affects many parts of our lives. Whether we want to speak or voice an opinion, whether it be raising a hand to propose an answer to a complex problem or refusing a drink refill, it can be momentarily panicking to make a decision. We make so many decisions every day, more than we can probably mentally spend time being conscious of. Many things we choose to do are automatic. Others we think about very carefully. It can be just as hard to give or refuse yourself permission to do something, as it can be to give or refuse someone else permission to do something. Understanding the scope of the power of our words, our right to speak, and our right to set boundaries and be respected — that is a beginning foundation of successful communication.

What do you say yes or no to?

  • How do you feel when you say yes or no to something? Do you feel you have to explain yourself further?
  • If you are in a group setting, do you find yourself taking the same stance as the majority, even if it is not what you agree with?
  • Do you feel that you owe certain people certain responses or perspectives? Is it easier or harder to be honest and definitive with yourself, or with others?
  • How do you feel when you say one thing and mean another? How do you cope with this or clarify it, in the moment or later?
  • How often do you use words like “maybe” to avoid a clear position or commitment? What are some good and bad effects of this?
  • What are some small ways you can stand up for yourself by saying yes or no and meaning it? What are some larger ways?
  • Does speaking your mind affect those around you? How do you handle that? (Someone saying you’re too assertive/passive, you’ve changed, etc.)
  • What are some ways that you can be reminded not to blame yourself for someone else using your words, or lack of words, against you?

You don’t have to answer every (or any!) question, of course. These are just different ways to approach the topic which might be helpful to consider. You can share as much or as little as you like.

On the Forum

Please note that we are still working things out in the forum, especially technical issues. We are gradually letting people in now who are not moderators or volunteers, but it can basically be considered “in beta” for now. So if you do join, please excuse our forum being a bit of a mess while we get everything tested. There may also be a little bit of a wait time for sending out invites.

Here are a couple of things you should know about posting to the forum:

  • All posts are private, and can only be viewed by members
  • It is against forum rules to discuss any personal stories shared on the forum with anyone who is not a member without permission of the person who shared it
  • You can post as anonymous, once you are a member

The Spoiler Tag

You can hide especially triggering details behind a spoiler tag—which also works in blog comments. Here’s an example:

[spoiler title=’Triggering stuff’ collapse_link=’true’]Explicit/triggering material would go here.[/spoiler]

To make one, just type…

[ spoiler ] ... [ /spoiler ]

…without the spaces. I hope that this helps everyone safely navigate this conversation.

About the Author:

Bethany is an ace survivor who lives in Minnesota and studies gerontology. She has published feminist nonfiction work in online literary magazines, and she also posts writing prompts for assault survivors at

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