Yes…I mean No…

Within the realm of friendship, saying no can be difficult.  Sometimes there are unspoken rules with friends and we find ourselves saying yes when we would really prefer to say no.  Perhaps we are replicating dynamics of relationships with family members where the pattern of pleasing others carries itself over into the arena of friendship. If you find yourself saying yes to others at the cost of taking time away from your own wants and needs, learning to set healthy boundaries and say no is a good starting point.  When we lose the ability to say no to friends (or family), our days may be filled with meeting other people’s needs, while neglecting our own time constraints.

Mastering the word no versus wavering in the murky world of maybes or the quicksand of yes-land is akin to becoming a Jedi Knight – intentional practice is required.  Putting this word as a mainstay in your vocabulary will take both the effort and concentration of Luke Skywalker learning to use a light saber.  The following questions may help as you begin your training:

To whom is it very difficult to say no?
What activities or projects do you have trouble saying no to or wish you could say no to?
When are your weakest moments?
When is a time where you know you are least likely to say no when you need to say no?

(Adapted from:  No! How One Simple Word Can Transform Your Life, Jana Kemp)


Marlayne Whitlock, MA