“It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.” Steve Job
As a child is born it has a long road of learning in front of her. The interesting thing is, that a baby trusts her intuition. This bundle of joy goes with the flow. One of the things she learns in early stages is to shake her head during feeding. That means no, that it is enough for her or that she is not hungry.
To say no does not start out as a challenge in our lives. In the beginning we are very good at it. We tell everyone who is listening to us, even better, we yell it if there is any doubt that the message did not come through. Somehow over the years we are taught something completely different. Maybe it is that we are expected to say ‘yes’, even if we mean ‘no’. In many cultures it is customary to always be ready to help, listen, cook and take care of family and friends. Still, there comes a time when you have had enough and you need to regain your energy. This is not always received very well in the social world we live in. There are many unwritten rules and ways to behave.
Even while writing this blog, I can feel the restrictions on me. Of course there is a lot to say in it, but how to write this down without becoming sarcastic or perhaps nasty. I always wait to use the word ‘no’, to tell some one that they are crossing my boundaries. It really is not a problem to help others; it always brings joy to my day. Listening to stories, positive and negative is also something I enjoy doing. It is more the borderline, when people start pushing you. The feeling that someone is taking advantage of you and you keep going along with helping and listening. Sometimes for the simple reason, that you don’t want to be rude or you know that this person is already feeling very down. Still, it would be better to refuse early on.
How can you make sure that your relationship is a healthy one, so that saying no is not a problem at all? Personally, I think that you need to trust your friends. Your trust in them and in yourself, the knowledge that both of you have the best interest at heart for each other gives the space to be able to be who you are. This way, you know it is safe to say no and that it is okay. You both know that there will be other times when you will join in or help. You can look at it as a dance, together with the people around you. If you are not able to step in, someone else will. This way we can all keep the dance going in the right rhythm for longer. We all have so much more to share, that the flow of taking care of each other will not be broken.
It is up to me now to begin, by trusting my friends, setting out my boundaries and finding the right voice to express them.