I want to let you in on a secret that once learnt is so incredibly liberating you will wonder how you ever lived without the knowledge of it. No, is a full sentence. That’s it – the big secret. You do not need to think of excuses or justification – you can say no, and that is enough.
It Started In The Past
I’ve spent my whole life struggling with the word no. Even when I was deathly uncomfortable, I would avoid it. I don’t know where it stemmed from. Childhood maybe? I always wanted to please. I think that is a fair statement, and therefore I never wanted to say no to anyone through fear of disappointment. The trouble is there comes the point where you do everything for everyone else and nothing for yourself, and you are no longer happy, and the purpose of life is lost.
As I grew older, I realised that I would have to start incorporating the answer no in at least some situations. If I ever wanted happiness, it meant I had to put myself first. This was a revelation, a piece of freedom and the first step toward living my life for me. Except, of course, it wasn’t as easy and straightforward as that.
Yes, now I was using the word no, but it came with a barrage of excuses and justification. I couldn’t just say no. I felt it had to meet the expectations of the person I was telling it to. More often than not, by doing this, it allowed them to talk me round and change my answer from no to, in fact, yes. Then I was right back to square one again.
A Wise Teacher With A Wiser Lesson
Upon seeing my debacle one day, a wise friend of mine gave me a piece of sage advice I have never forgotten. I was frantically trying to word a reply to someone to tell them I couldn’t do something for them. I was going into great depth to justify my answer when my friend said, “stop. No, is a full sentence.” I didn’t quite understand initially, but when they explained that no was enough and it wasn’t cruel, resistant or awkward, it was simply setting a boundary and ending the conversation.
You Don’t Have to Be Rude.
From this discovery, I realised that I could set the boundary clearly and sufficiently, and there was no argument to face. I had visions of awkward fallouts or tempers escalating, but what actually happened was people started respecting my boundaries, and I lacked the guilt I had been carrying.
This difficult battle had come from my desire not to disappoint or hurt anyone, and as a result, I ended up just disappointing and hurting myself. You don’t have to be rude in your response. Saying no doesn’t mean you like the person any less or that you cannot continue a friendship. You can be polite and professional and withhold your own boundary so that you can actually continue without compromising your own joy.
Do you struggle to say no? Try using no as a full sentence. The results are quite freeing!
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Love as always!
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