What is it about the word no that’s so comforting? It’s one of the first things my daughter learned how to say and she liked to use it all the time, whether her real response was intended to be a rejection or it was just a word she liked to say.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast. The host and guest were on a bit of a tangent about restaurants and the term knee-jerk no was used to describe an aversion to trying new foods, which led to a larger discussion about being a no-person in life. I was listening to this and every example played a parallel to my life in some way. How could this be? I think of myself as an intellectually enlightened person, but I realized that didn’t translate into action.
Try this food – “No”
Do you want to go for a walk right now – “No”
Can you do this for me – “No”
Let’s go do this tonight – “No”
Other than the food thing (my father always says I eat with my eyes, not with my mouth), I realized my immediate no response really meant “not now”. Now could mean in 5 minutes or later that day or next weekend, but because this new thing was disruptive to whatever current plan I had in my head, I just defaulted to a rejection. Folks, this is no way to live (pun intended). And so, I started saying yes, cautiously, and realized that it was a lot easier, and usually more fun, to just go with it.