What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

31 May 2016

Just Say No

There are hundreds of blog posts, I'm sure, about the importance of saying no, politely but meaning it, refusing to engage in discussion about the "no," and so on. And for those of us who have a hard time saying no, every one of those pixels is probably warranted. Sticking to one's position, especially when the other person is disappointed and/or persistent, is rough. (So much so that there's even a biblical parable about the Persistent Widow.)
Here's a guy who has no problem saying no. And
everybody still loves him. Source.

But a life lived in "yes" mode is a life that other people can easily run for you, if the magical "no" isn't harnessed. This is especially true at major turning points in life-- how many high school graduates are at this minute being pestered by well-meaning relatives: "You're going to major in what? What are you going to do with that?" (Friendly hint: don't be that relative.) Some folks, alas, have committed themselves to a first-class seat on the Unsolicited Advice Train. If only they wore signs so they could be easily identified.

This isn't a post on what to do, as you may have guessed, mostly because I can't answer that for you. Are you at the "practice with the low-stakes no" stage, or at the "now I just need to remember how to say yes sometimes" stage? Do you have a persistent person in your life who you wish would back off? Dig in and be as persistent with your "no" as they are. And maybe bring a list of alternative topics with you--and remember you can always lay on the floor later to recover, if necessary.

This subject has been on my mind because I encouraged my niece earlier this week to tell someone (not her parents--I'm not THAT aunt), "We're done talking about this," when they won't back off. Will it work? I hope so. Will the other person be mad? Possibly. Do I wish someone had given me the same suggestion as a teen? Absolutely.

So! This is your reminder that it's okay to say no. It's okay to stick to it. It's okay for other people to not get it. It's okay to do what's best for you and your family. It's okay.

Happy new month! I have many thoughts fighting for the exit, so my plan is to blog a lot more in June. (You are, of course, free to just say no to reading along--but I hope to see you from time to time.)


Crystal Collier said...

Yeah, that sounds familiar. I had a conversation like that recently. Actually it was with my mother. I had to tell her the to-homeschool, not-to-homeschool debate was not a debate but a relationship destroyer and she had best stay away from it. It only took 10 years of being badgered by her both for and against for me to take a stand. I think it can be hardest to tell the people closest to us no.

Su Wilcox said...

Yikes. You're right--it can absolutely a relationship destroyer when folks just can't hear the "we're done talking" part of no. :(