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Unable to refuse someone in public

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by IntoTheVoid, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. IntoTheVoid

    IntoTheVoid Active Member

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    I am an introvert. When I was teenager, I had a social phobia - totally unable to speak with strangers at all. I couldn't even buy a ticket for a train.

    Later I overcame it. Finally I could ask for a direction. I could buy some food in the street. And so on... Not sure how exactly I overcame it, but in the same time I am still an introvert.

    And there are certain situations I am totally unable to say a single thing...

    Recently I was in the mall and suddenly some woman asked me if I am a regular customer there and she had a great offer me for... It was some great super card and I can have some discounts with it. I knew it was just an common credit card and I was no interested, but I couldn't refuse her and eventually she made me to sign the contract.

    Fortunately I cancelled the contract later with sending a letter to the company.

    Why was I unable to tell her "not interested, bye" ?

    And today I met a homeless guy. And he was like "Please, kind sir, might I ask for some money." and I was like "Ok, I'll give him some and he goes away" and I did.

    But it didn't make him leave. It did the exact opposite. He suddenly wanted more and more.
    "Could you gimme some more? I have four children! And I have no money for food! If you want, you can go with me to the mall, so you will see I'll buy with your money some food and not an alcohol!" and I was just like "Yeah? Eh? Okay?" totally unable to do anything, to say anything... I was totally frozen. And he continued "I don't have any money for my rent. Could you pay for my rent? You're a good a person! God bless you! Will ya'?"

    It took forever and my body was shaking. I was totally unable to say a word. I totally didn't know what to say that would make him to go away finally. I gave him some money twice, but he was repeating how he needs more.

    I don't mind the money, but I hate the feeling how unable to speak I am. How I lack a control in such situations.

    How do you deal with such an issue? How do you respond to the homeless people?
     
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  2. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am just lıke you. When in a confrontation, I fold like a house of cards in an earthquake.

    First, you need to get some perspective. Read the Sherlock Holmes story "The Man with the Twisted Lip." I agree that while there are a lot genuine beggars out there, many are frauds. I remember driving past a mall and seeing a young woman begging. She was leaning on a pair of crutches and holding a sign that said "Crippled. Can't Work. Please Help." Later that afternoon, I saw her merrily walking, almost bouncing, down the sidewalk carrying the crutches over her shoulder. Another time, there was a rather pathetic looking guy at a highway off ramp. His signs changed every few days. One evening I saw him walking down the street, getting into a nice looking Corvette, and driving off. Evey day he was there, the Corvette was parked down the street, and I saw him driving it several times.

    Next, whenever I see someone approaching me, I firmly establish in my mind FRAUD!! If you accept the person as genuine, it is much harder to say no. By establishing in my mind the person is attempting to cheat me, saying no becomes much easier.
     
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  3. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    I do agree here. I learned that when I naively gave some money to a person who was collecting money for a "cause", (quotations because in hindsight it obviously wasn't real) told them how much I wanted to give and expected them to give me back the rest of the bill. They did not. obviously.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Next time someone tries to get you to sign up for a new credit card, politely say 'No thankyou, but I do know someone who could really use it.' And then bring in the homeless man.

    ;)
     
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  5. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    I ignore them. Act like im brooding over something.
     
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  6. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Practice saying no in front of mirror. Then practice saying, "l said no". The one l have been using: "what part of no is unclear to you?"

    l get people who ignore my no, so l say no,what part of no don't you understand? This is a excellent backup statement.

    Then practice going to the store, asking to see something, then say *no*, l am not interested. It does get easier. Believe me.
     
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  7. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    I struggle with being assertive aswell and in the past I have had people come up to me on the street harassing me for money and had one guy follow me until I gave him money, I also have had those people in shopping malls that try and sell you stuff like skin care and they can get quite aggressive when they try to sell so when I see the kiosk I walk faster and just say sorry not interested.
     
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  8. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good guide for someone like the OP:
    When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy
    by Manuel J. Smith

    It's an oldie but goodie, with practical advice and exercises. OP, just as you eventually could ask for a train ticket, you can gain this skill, too.

    Your experience with the panhandler asking for more, and more, is typical of these begging situations. They don't all do that, but once they see a chink in your armor, they will often go further. Had you agreed to go to the mall with him (in your car? his?) you might have been in real danger. I knew a woman who was asked for loose change, and when she took out her wallet, the panhandler stole it and ran off.
     
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  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I don't have a problem with this. First of all, I can see a long way off if someone is looking to talk to people about cards or offers, etc, and I make a detour round them, don't make eye contact, make it obvious to them that I don't want to engage. I also tend to go around wearing headphones which blocks them out entirely/puts them of talking to me. But if they do engage with me, 'no thanks, not interested' is usually enough.

    As for beggars/homeless people insisting on me giving them money, If I don't want to give them money, I just ignore them and move away. They know from experience that they are not going to get any money from a person who does this. The more they badger me to give money, the less likely I am to do so.
     
  10. IntoTheVoid

    IntoTheVoid Active Member

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    Regarding to advice here...

    Unfortunately some of the tactics mentioned here didn't work... Specifically saying "no" and headphones and... I couldn't going away, because it was a bus stop and I needed to be there for a bus. And I had my headphones, but it didn't stop him.

    And I told him "no" repeatedly.

    "Could you pay for my rent, kind sir?"
    "No"
    "I would give it back to you."
    "No."
    "I have children and..."
    "No."
    (he was very close to me and I was avoiding eye-contact).
    "God bless you, sir. You are a good person. Give me some coin."
    "No."
    "I need money for rent."

    It almost seemed he was repeating the same things all over again, so rational arguments wouldn't help. I totally have no idea how to make him leave.

    1) Giving some money didn't help as I first assumed it will satisfy him and make him to go

    2) Repeating "no" didn't help.

    3) Most of the time I wasn't able to say anything... I just watching him confussed.

    Nothing really made him leave for 20 minutes straight. Nothing.
     
  11. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I agree with that. There are many people around the city like this. For example, one guy looks always quite pathetic - he has only an old sleeping bag with him, his clothes are always dirty and never change, his shoes are so old that they tore on the stitches and his toes go out through the front and some through the holes in his socks as well. Tourists always give him a lot of money.

    But people living around know that a van always brings him there in the early morning - and always takes him back in the late evening. So, well.

    There are so many homeless and beggars on the streets in the summer - but somehow they all disappear in late autumn or winter. I never give them money, I prefer to tip a barista in my local cafe or buy a drawing from a girl in the centre.

    The only advice I have is - ignore them. Look the other way and don't react. They may swear at you but will leave you alone. Or you can just stare at them without saying anything. Most people get uncomfortable and leave if you do it properly.

    That man you met - he was first encouraged by money you gave (a mistake), then saw weakness in you that may have promised him more money. So he kept pushing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  12. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I was like that in my teens. Even to the extent that if someone was standing next to me, waiting to cross a road, I felt deep shame and embarrassed for that person, that they had to stand next to me.

    The few jobs I got, I was confused to how I managed to get them. Who on earth would want to hire me and I only went on them, due to being forced to.

    If the internet had been around then, I would not be online.

    However, I am much better now. I do have lapses of severe low self esteem, but they are happening less and less now.

    But, like you, if I am asked a question out of the sudden, I stumble very much. I hate it when a shop assistant asks if they can help me? I just mumble and throw my hand in any direction and hurriedly say I am ok thanks.

    I learned, due to having a boyfriend who was obsessed with tramps, that a kindness is not what they want and so, have never been juped by them. Instead, offered to buy them food, which they always decline.
     
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  13. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Many here work the traffic light intersections. If the traffic lights cycle every 90 seconds, that's 40 cycles per hour. If he averages one dollar per cycle (and I suspect more), that works out to $40 per hour. And with an 8 hour day, it comes to $80,000 per year. I never in my life made that kind of money. It's no wonder Neville StClair could afford the life of a country gentleman.
     
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  14. WildCat

    WildCat and his scatterbrain V.I.P Member

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    I accidentally answered a telemarketing call not too long ago. Someone peddling insurance, started with the usual niceties. They asked for a zipcode, I told them I had a call on the other line and that was that. If this had been even a few years back I would have been suckered into something stupid (or worse), so yeah, I know that feeling all too well. In fact, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to tell them that I had a call on the other line, but a white lie is better than telling someone to screw off and bother someone else.

    In my experience, learning to say "no" in these situations gets easier the more you do it. The alternative? Being a doormat and taken for a ride again because someone found a good catch? No thank you. Good advice here in this thread if you need a starting point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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