Thursday, April 28, 2011

No. It's Time Has Come.

What would happen if you said no?
If you were asked to do something that you didn't want to do,  or to buy something you weren't sure you wanted to buy, could you decline?
I can.
So far, nothing bad's happened.
It started out many years ago when I noticed that people said yes to requests then wondered how they ever got into this mess. Many such conversations included the phrase, "You hate to say no."
Maybe so, but if you hate yourself for saying yes why do it?
Let me give you an example. Years ago there were some tee shirts left from some event concerning the local National Historic Site. I've forgotten what it was so I apologize for the lack of detail. My boss was involved in the organization and blustered into the office one fine summer afternoon asking who'd like to buy one.
I said I wanted to think about it.
He said the offer was only open today.
"Okay," I replied. "Then no."
He was a bit taken aback, but  knew better than to pursue it.
Many others in the office said yes and several were later heard to mutter, "You hate to say no."
Hate it?
I freakin' love it.
Why would you buy or do something you don't want to do? It makes no sense to me. When you say yes out of  obligation, the asker owns you. Plain and simple.
Yeah, you're being kind and good and helpful, and frankly, you're losing a bit of yourself every time you do it.
For me it works both ways. If I can say no to you, then you can say no to me. I don't mind. Hell, I respect you and your backbone.
I'd rather hear an honest no than a shallow yes because then when I do get a yes I know it's meant.
Saying no when I don't mean yes has been my practice for so long I've forgotten when it started. It can be learned. It takes practice, but it is worth it.

Give the boot to the unwanted yes.


Virginia Lee said...

No is a great thing. I approve this blog. *****

Leah J. Utas said...

Why, VL. Thank you.

Chris said...

As a parent, one must learn the power of NO or be steamrolled into irrelevance.

Dawn said...

Mind you, I just came upon this concept in the last couple years, when I realized my life was passing by and was too short to continue doing things I wasn't really wanting to do.
Great words and thoughts Leah!
Here Here!!

Bossy Betty said...

No is a powerful word and once you learn how to use it correctly, it was be exceptionally freeing.

Tabor said...

With my love of cowboy boots I know that I couldn't say no to those!!

Leah J. Utas said...

Chris, I have no practical experience, but I can see how that could happen.

Thanks, Dawn. It gets easier when you realize how much better you feel and how nothing really bad happens by saying no.

So very true, Betty. Good point about using it correctly.

I understand, Tabor. These are fine, fine boots.

Reb said...

I love to say no! I hate to say no :( Depends on who is doing the asking and for what. Most often I have no problems saying no. Even when I hate to say it, I can.

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, I hear you. It can be difficult to say no at times, but I still do it.

messymimi said...

It's not hating to say no, it's disappointing people that they don't like.

As for me, i've gotten over it, for the most part.

Ron Scheer said...

I not only like saying no; I like it when I get the response "Why not?" Then I can say, "No reason."

solarity said...

The hardest part is saying no to yourself. There are only so many hours in the day; it's impossible to do everything you want to do. How to choose? What to reject?

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Ron, that's wonderful. Good for you.

Mary Anne, it can be tough.

Hilary said...

That's one of the things I like about you, Leah. You're a straight-shooter, and I know that you mean what you say.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary, thanks. It's good to be appreciated.