Several of us flinch at the mere thought of a response that means “NO.” Especially as parents, we all know that dreaded response when you tell your child “NO”. In your child’s brain it equates to a double NO… Wait! What! Why Not…. then the crying, the tantrums and the negotiations begin. And when you say “NO” some children automatically turn that NO into a yes and do it anyway!!!!
As adults we must tell ourselves “No” sometimes. When it comes to parenting, we have to make a choice and decide on the best decision for ourselves and our family. “I wish we could have McDonald’s every night since it is so much easier,” but our other self that is more in touch with reality says “NO.” The cost of fast food can easily add up and plus it’s not the best choice when it comes to keeping up with my family’s health, nutritional goals or budget.
“NO” can mean so many different things, it can be an obstacle or a boundary. Saying the word “NO” and hearing “NO” is one of the most difficult things to do. Some people don’t know how to say “NO” to others and end up putting to much on their plate. Remember, when you say yes to someone else you are saying “NO” to yourself.
Here are some quick tips to make handling “NO” a little bit easier:
- Remember “NO” is just a word. Do not have any emotional attachment to it. There is NO need to create a story about it.
- If you get a “NO” to a proposition, accept it but put forward other options or alternatives. The other party may come to a compromise.
- Pause before responding to a question that requires a Yes or No answer. Weigh and balance the pros and cons as well as the short term and long term impact of your response. (I know easier said than done.)
- Practice accepting “No” as an answer. Who else best to play this game with but yourself? Deny yourself things that you know are detrimental to your goals. Have fun with it. It becomes easier and a great skill to master.
Finally, go easy on yourself if you don’t win the “No” game. There will be plenty of opportunities to try again. Nobody wants to hear the word “NO,” but you must learn to accept “NO” from others.
“Notice how often we see that dreaded 2 letter word that stops us in our tracks – visually jarring – No?. Pssst – it’s just a word.”