From the time we are little, we learn to rebel. Not really on purpose. We mimic the shaking of our head to refuse something we don’t want. Children toddlers fight to express their own feelings and wants, even if we, as parents, disagree with those desires. It is a never-ending struggle until they leave the house. For good. Parents are exposed to the word “no” from their children, yet we as parents rarely use it when expressing our wants and desires. And when an adult “refuses” something, then all kinds of questions come up. Questions that don’t even matter.
My youngest son does not like bananas. He never has. But if I were to ask him why, I am not sure that he could tell me why. But when adults tell us that they don’t like something, we demand an explanation. And if we don’t understand it, then the answer isn’t good enough. And we continue to search for something that makes sense.
Can’t we just say “no” without explanation?
Why do we need to prove our reasons?
Do others need to understand or ask for their permission?
The answer is “no.”
We are simply stating that our priorities have changed and as that happens, people will need to respect those decisions.
Being in a constant state of change, we need to be able to change our minds, choose different arrangements, and use our time as we see fit. Life is short enough as it is, we had better use our time wisely. Doing what we want to do…not always what we have to do.
When we refuse an invitation, we will no doubt disappoint people. Hopefully, just for the short-term. If they really care about us, they will accept our polite, “no, thank you” and move on. Perhaps, things will change again and we will find ourselves back in familiar territory.
I know even the word “no” can be a letdown and yet, I always seem to hear, “Not right now” instead. Maybe it means that I still believe in what could be possible or that things might be different.
Do you feel guilty when you tell someone “no?” Do you feel a sense of regret that you are unable to do everything that shows up on your doorstep? I used to be that “Wonder Woman” too.
But realizing that we have to make hard decisions and choose one thing over another is not easy. Not doing so allows our life to run us or we choose to run it.
Look at your life…what is imperative to keep at the top of your list? What requires immediate attention? Are there things you can let slide (for now) and pick up later? What can you just let go of as you slowly move away from it? Not everything life has your name attached to it.
In this day and age, choosers MUST be picky. And it begins with the power behind “NO!”