I asked Ella if she wanted to go to the grocery store with me. We’d recently run some errands together and had a great time one on one. So, I thought we'd continue the quality time. After I asked, Ella struggled with her response. When I pried a bit, she said she didn't want to go, but didn't want to hurt my feelings. .
It was very sweet of her to consider my feelings, but it got me thinking, why is it so hard for us to say NO? Or, to feel the need to apologize for saying it. Even at 8, with her most trusted, will love you no matter what person, “no” was still hard to say. I get it. I do it too. .
But... No isn't a bad word. I mean, don't be a jerk. But a kind, respectful no is perfectly fine. I'm a work in progress, but saying no is one thing I'm getting better at doing. A few things have helped me... .
I learn what I'm saying no to. This isn't for all scenarios, but serving on the PTO, volunteering at class parties, hosting something, etc; "Tell me more about what that would entail," or "What did you have in mind," are helpful replies for me. I could end up saying yes, but if not, I feel I can give a more comfortable, genuine, respectful no when I know what I'm saying no to. .
It’s ok to say no, even if you have nothing else going. AND it’s ok to be honest about it. Life is full. This means I'm intentional about finding windows of opportunity to push pause. So while I technically "could" attend X, I will decline and share that I want to be home for some down time with the fam. I find sincerity and honesty are usually appreciated. .
I CONSTANTLY remind myself I don't need to apologize for saying no. We were recently picking out new countertops. I knew what I wanted. As we walked through the slabs the gal was pointing out options. Over and over again I'd say, no, not what I'm looking for. No, I'm looking for more of this. No, not it. I fought the urge to say "Sorry," as if I was being annoying or difficult. Wait, why? I wasn't being rude. I was projecting my own insecurities. No isn't a bad word. Apology UNnecessary. .
In case you needed a reminder, as I often do; No isn't a bad word. And your nicest nos can often help lead you to your best yeses.