Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thoughts- Simple vs. Easy

Okay, I have my venti sugar free vanilla soy latte in hand so here we go for this morning...

Saying No

Reality: No is a vital component of any type of communal living. Family, School, Work, Community, Country, World. I recently heard Gavin De Becker say that No is a complete sentence...not the beginning of a negotiation.

Simple: The word is simple
Easy: Saying no is easy enough, but having "your yes mean your yes and your no mean your no", is actually quite difficult.

I am terrible at this. This is a huge area of needed growth for me and I am being disciplined in this truth, in all aspects of my life right now. I am finally just starting to lean into the reality that I have an opportunity to evolve now that the light is on this area of weakness.

I don't feel like I have much wisdom for this, but I know I have a lot of questions about this issue. Chime in if you'd like...
1. How do you understand saying no?
2. How do you reconcile the reality that you will disappoint others?
3. How do you practice no, so that it is direct and yet respectful... all at once?

3 comments:

joyous melancholy said...

1. I like your quote by Gavin De Becker. No means no. Saying No is not disrespectful of itself. It just means no. I'm not sure why there is such a social stigma around saying it. No is part of free will, and free will is what makes us human.

2. There are people in my life that I can disappoint, and those that I choose not to. Typically, the ones I don't like to disappoint are the ones who are the most respectful of my No. Those who don't respect me enough to hear my boundaries, well they can stand to be disappointed from time to time.

3. There is a very big difference between a toddler shouting "NO" when his momma tells him to pick up his toys, and a grown adult telling someone No. One is defiance, motivated by selfishness and immaturity. The other is standing up for oneself, declining to participate in some activity or situation, motivated by respect and maturity.

My job is to convey my boundaries with respect, but it is not to control how my boundaries are heard or perceived. I can only do my own work. If I practice No so it is direct and respectful, I've done my job. If the receiver of my direct, respectful No takes it poorly - and I don't just mean disappointment, but accusing it of being wrong - that's their issue to work on.

I think I have a lot more to say about this, but it's past my bed time. Maybe over lunch one day.

Poetic Mama said...

Wow... lot's to chew on...

joyous melancholy said...

Like I'm one to talk... I've been planning a shower for the past three days. ;-)

There used to be a radio bit on KROQ called Kevin and Bean Break The News. I don't know if they still do it. But you could call in with a complaint about someone - a coworker who wore too much cologne, for example - and they would call the coworker to tell them so you could remain anonymous.

We should start up something like that, but for saying no. I'm not sure how it would work, but it sounds good to me.