“…there are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don’t really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.” ― Elaine St. James
“Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it. My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love. Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.” ― Susan Gregg
Saying “yes” is not synonymous with love, respect, or kindness.
Sometimes we use the word “yes” as a tool to end conversations, calm people’s anxieties, give them hope, prove we care, avoid causing hurt feelings, or to sum it all up in a simple phrase, “be nice.”
When we say “yes” for any other reason besides sincerely intending to do what we promise, we not only create the very misunderstandings and hurt feelings we sought to avoid, but we also lose trust and respect in the process.
If you really want to show someone you care, then practice saying “no” to them. “No” is a way of saying the following:
“I take you seriously enough to tell you the truth. I see you as someone who is mature enough to handle a relationship that’s based on honesty. I trust you enough to believe that your assessment of my value goes beyond my ability to do everything you ask me to do. Furthermore, because I want you to get what you want, I’m going to dispel any illusions that you can acquire it through me at this time. Rather than waste your time by giving you the run around, I’m going to free you up to immediately act on any other options you may have.”
People may experience a little frustration when you send such a message to them, but they will appreciate that a lot more than you leading them down a winding dead-end path for days, weeks, or months. Besides, whenever you do get around to saying “yes”, they will know you mean it and will value your word.
Saying “yes” and failing to keep your word or saying “yes” and harboring resentment because you really wanted to say “no,” is one of the surest ways of doing the complete opposite of avoiding trouble.
The next time you’re asked to do something that’s not right or possible for you, do the nice thing and just say “no.”