If we don’t ask due to fear of rejection, we do eliminate any chance the answer is “no”. We won’t be rejected for that one thing. Unfortunately, we’ve also eliminated any chance of there ever being a “yes”. So, for fear of rejection, we do the rejecting first and guarantee (so we think) there is never a possibly of not being rejected. However, our rejection triggers rejection in others so we, ultimately, get rejected anyway. It’s a catch-22 and proof that when we make decisions out of fear we increase the likelihood of the very thing we fear. As adults, we really owe it to ourselves and our relationships to learn to accept “no”. It’s rather childish and unreasonable to expect that no one ever in our life will say “no” to us. Using emotions to get our own way all the time (even if we use subtle ways of discouraging “no” to our”requests”) is immature and psychologically abusive. Sure, no none likes to be told “no”. However, everyone wants to feel free to decline invitations and requests without retaliation. Retaliation can take many forms but it’s still very unpleasant and does discourage saying “no” in relationships (for a while). In other words, it works (sort of). Just because it works most of the time does not mean it’s right or healthy. Deep down, if we are using emotional manipulation in relationships, part of us knows that the relationship is weak and held together by a thin thread of compliance. Some of us retaliate by pouting, others by guilt trips, and others by emotional abandonment. Emotional abandonment is basically “the cold shoulder” or removal of affection, love, presence, affirmation, or communication (such as ghosting). It’s all part of a dysfunctional psychological game and is extremely unhealthy. No relationship based on such games is solid. If we have to use psychological tactics to keep people in our lives then we need to rethink our goal in relationships. Are we forming relationships to meet our own needs without regard for the other person’s feelings? I daresay if we act like a victim simply because someone declines an invitation or request from us, then we probably need to look harder at ourselves and our relationships. Manipulation of any kind is destructive to relationships and is never part of healthy interactions among adults. Any time we get what we want without directly asking for it, it may be manipulation.