It's not an evil word. It's not a bad word, it is a nice word, and the people who care aren't going to drop off of the face of the planet if we say, "No." Those who do disappear, are simply making room for a better friendship in your life. When we hang on to people who would use us, we steal a happier self from those who really do care.
Come on. Try it with me, "No."......"No, no, no, no, no." See? Nobody died. Whisper it in private, or practice in the mirror if you need to, just to see how it feels. You will be able to say it to another human being despite the lump in your throat, the sweating and even the shaking.
We hear the word, "No, so much as toddlers, that it's one of the first words we learn, and then get scolded for saying it. It doesn't feel good. It feels wrong, and forbid.....it feels mean. Nothing, however is more cruel to a friend or loved one, than our saying, "Yes" to something we don't want to do, then resenting them for not reading our minds. The resentment can last for ages, and destroy tender relationships, when all that was needed on the spot was a "No." Painful, mean or frightening as it sounds in the moment, "No," is one of the most merciful and loving (Did you hear that? "LOVING") words that can be said.
No reason is needed for the word, "No." If you provide a reason that you can't do or won't do what's being asked, the person requesting will find a way to fix that reason for you. Not wanting to do a thing is reason enough. "No." is enough to say. There are multitudes of ways to say, "No." The easiest and simplest is a kind and firm, "No." I've gathered a few, "No's" that have worked for me. Use them, and use them often enough to ward off resentment.
2- "Hell, No!"
3- "Yes, but NOT with you."
So many trusts are broken by unspoken, "No's." Often, we blame others, when the responsibility laid in our own laps. We were dishonest, when we said, "Yes" to things that went against our truest selves. We can become more real with the ones we love.
Suppose you commit to saying, "No," once a week for practice, and you mess up once? You can go back to the person, and say, "I was wrong. I need to say, "No" to this." Make it ok with you to be wrong, to make mistakes, to step in something, and step right back out of it.
The beauty of "No," is more than freedom from resentments. Once people get used to you saying it, they begin to trust that when you get to say, "Yes," you mean it completely. When we are more true to ourselves, we are more true and open to others. "No," is a very, very loving word.
Peace be with you, and those you love.
Acrylic on Canvas