Saying “no” is a worthy practice of self-love and boundary setting. It can increase focus on what matters to you: The more you say no, the more you free up time and head space for the “yeses” in your life. People who’ve grown tired of saying “yes” can find N-O to be freeing.
I’ve worked on fine-tuning delivery that is both genuine and gentle – aka doesn’t sound like a verbal throat punch. Then there are instances when I implement the expression “‘No’ is a complete sentence.”
Will you serve on this committee?
Do you want to buy from my online party?
Do you and Miller want to meet us?
“No. That’s nap time.”
After feeling restricted by too many yeses and then finding freedom in nos, I’ve hit the other extreme: “No” has become my default. As a default, it’s no longer freeing, but limiting.As defaults, both 'yes' and 'no' are limiting. Click To Tweet
Last week I found myself saying yes to an opportunity I’d normally decline.
Mark (husband) and I met two other couples for Valentine’s dinner. A 6:30 reservation turned into us closing down the joint.
The gents especially wanted to keep the evening going, but they were also cognizant of the restaurant workers looking ready to go home. We cashed out with a nearby bar set as our next destination.
En route, while at a red light, one couple tapped out to go home. It was roughly 9:30 pm, and also the perfect opportunity to piggyback on the “no”. We could get home for usual bedtime routines and sleep schedules!
Mark, is “yes man”. He works hard, plays hard, and requires little sleep. He’s always up for a drink, and if folks want to stay for one more, he’s game.
That means, while at the stoplight, the decision to go home or stay out was all mine. Surprisingly, I was feeling the “yes”.
WHAT A FUN NIGHT!!!
I went to college with the other couple, and Mark’s and my friend’s jobs occasionally intersect. Even our sons are buddies. Conversation flows with ease.
Regan and I – yes that Regan – hit the jukebox while the guys got drinks.
Boom Boom Pow played and we flashed back to pre-parenting days. Maroon 5 took us back further to college. At the opening notes of MMMBop, I reverted to a 7th grader.
And then? Pool. Poorly played and thoroughly enjoyed.
At one point, talk of sleep arose. Doing without, functioning on little, and so on. Mark explained his willingness to go out in a way I hadn’t heard before.
“It might not be fun feeling like crap the next day,” he says, “but I can be tired for one day.”
He prioritizes experiences, not just over material goods, but even over sleep! Consequently, his willingness to say “yes” has created a lot of memories over the years, and he’s garnered a lot of relationships in the process.
Feeling off for one day (short term) is worth the trade-off of making a long-term memory. I love that, and I get it. I finally get it.
We stayed out til midnight.
Was I tired the next day? Yep. But I didn’t find it as bothersome as usual. Thanks to Mark’s sentiments, when the “I’m tired.” mantra kicked in, I mentally recalled music, conversations, and the sound of a pool ball contacting the pocket from the night before.
It’s not about saying “yes” or “no” to everything. It’s about verbalizing that little voice inside. That way, when when you say “no”, you’re maintaining healthy boundaries. When your answer is “yes”, it’s because you’re choosing the opportunity instead of feeling forced into it.
Will I start saying yes to every extended invitation?
Am I suddenly willing to sacrifice nap time?
But will I seriously consider the offer before defaulting to no?
Absolutely.It's not about saying 'yes' or 'no' to everything. It's about verbalizing that little voice inside. Click To Tweet
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