|“No” in more than 520 languages|
Contrary to the belief of my children, dog, and probably husband, NO is not my all-time favorite word. In fact, I really hate to say NO for two reasons.
1. I feel guilty for disappointing the person who asked me the yes or no question.
2. I hate feeling obliged to explain my reason (or come up with a reason) for saying no.
Saying yes seems easy, until you have to follow through…
“Yes, I’ll watch your children while you go shopping this afternoon.”
“Yes, you can borrow my vacuum cleaner.”
“Yes, your friends can spend the night.”
“Yes, I can loan you the money until payday.”
“Yes, I’ll take on that extra assignment at work.”
“Yes, I can cover that meeting for you.”
“Yes, I can volunteer for that project/committee/program.”
“Yes, I’m coming to the family gathering this weekend.”
Those are all such NICE statements. Some are downright NOBLE! Or so it seems until you peek under the surface … Can you imagine how distressing it would be if what you were really thinking was revealed?
“It takes me two days to repair my house after your kids are in it.”
“Every time someone borrows my vacuum cleaner they break it.”
“I was really looking forward to a quiet evening at home, not a slumber party.”
“If I loan you the money, I’ll have to badger you for months to repay me.”
“That assignment isn’t even in my department, why are you asking me?”
“My schedule is overbooked as it is, how can I fit in another boring meeting?”
“What, is there a sign on my back that says ‘gullible volunteer’?”
“I don’t have the money to travel right now, and I’d rather not go into debt to come visit.”
I know. Not noble, not nice. But honest. And as the saying goes, honesty is the best policy.
Do you know it’s more Scriptural, more Christ-like, to simply say NO than it is to say yes when you don’t mean it?
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”Matthew 5:37
And when we’re asked “why?” by the multitudes of adults and children out there who were obviously never taught to respect a simple NO, it’s all right to speak the truth in love and tell them your real, honest reason for saying NO. Even if your reason is nothing more than “because I don’t want to, that’s why.”
If they still pester and badger you, that person doesn’t respect you very much. (If you are a pesterer, stop it! Leave people alone!)
NO is a powerful word. With it you can defend your personal boundaries in relationships, you can stick to a budget (by telling yourself “no” when it comes to shopping for things you don’t really need), you can stay on your diet, quit a bad habit, meet goals, uphold your convictions, protect your health and sanity, define your priorities, and more. No is NOT a bad word!