Ever since I was a kid, parents, teachers, counselors, even my peers have all told me to “break out of my shell” and not me be shy since “the worse thing they can say is no.” I took this into consideration and never thought of how ‘no’ can really make an impact. Rejection is a hard thing to deal with. Memories can be rewound to that point in your life when you were denied because you weren’t good enough or because you weren’t exactly what they were looking for. Denial can affect someone momentarily, or it can last for a lifetime.
Some time during my high school year, I fell in love. My shyness and nervousness halted me from ever trying to step beyond the line of friendship, yet deep down inside I replayed that voice which told me the worse he can say is ‘no’. I listened to his every word, found interest in his interests, and worried when he was a day absent. After some time, that voice in my head motivated me that there was nothing to be afraid of. The following day I told him I liked him and asked him out. Though I knew and was afraid of being heart broken, I never actually experienced it – thinking it no more than a bruise that can heal over time. However once he said no, that bruise was actually a scar. I became twice as shy as before; always afraid I would be hurt again.
Being told ‘no’ is like telling someone they’re not competent or worthy. Having that feeling of rejection can lower self esteem or even make them work harder to improve themselves. It could be a denial from a four year college or it can be a refusal to a job. I find it to mean a lot more than the connotative meaning of the phrase “the worse thing they can say is no”. People make it seem like a mere greeting by understating that the outcome of such answer can actually change how a person thinks, acts, or lives. And this I believe… is why ‘no’ really is the worse thing they can say.