TODAYS WORD: NO
A magazine recently had on its cover “Say yes to saying no. It’s a clever way to make you think about how often we say “yes” when our gut is shouting at us to say “no.”
Why is it so hard to say no? “Oh, would you be a dear and chair the next meeting?” Everything in you is shouting “no” but some twist of our thinking has us saying “oh, sure, I’d be glad to do that.
Is it because we really do want to be considered a dear or a lifesaver or a go-to person that someone can use that to flip our switch? Think about it. By hooking the “Be a dear” up with the request, your refusal amounts so announcing to that person that you are not “dear.”
There have been campaigns in recent years to embed in our minds the phrase “Just say no” to problems like drugs and alcohol abuse. Most of us have no trouble saying no to such things but still cave in when asked to be on a board or chair a committee even when we feel it’s not a good fit for us.
And sometimes when we dare to say ‘no’, we are met with latent hostility that shakes our sense of self-worth. Cajoling, pleading, harassing, anger, and many other reactions to our ‘no’ are quite simply another form of manipulating us into saying yes.
It takes determination to over-rule the guilt trip and just say no, but unless we do say it and make it stick, we become easy targets to future requests. Then we can be eased into situations that take up more time than we care to spend and bring us no return, not even the thought that we did the right thing. Things that we agree to under stress often bring us only frustration and anger.
So prepare for the next time. Practice saying “no” without adding an apology, any excuse or even an explanation.
“Learn to say yes to saying no.”
Ellie Pulikonda, Author/Writer