5 Minutes of Fabulous: Can we say no as a complete sentence?
Hello my little cream puff,
I’m writing to you today as though you are my oldest, dearest friend and that you are sitting on the other side of this matcha latte.
Yum. Is there anything cozier than sipping a warm, soul nourishing beverage, and connecting with a dear friend? I don’t think so.
If you were on the other side of this latte, I’d tell you that I’ve been experimenting with saying no as a complete sentence. That means saying no with no additional explanation.
You may be thinking, is she nuts? And you would be right. I’m a complete head case. But what I know for sure, is that we are always practicing something and most of us are practicing suffering. We say yes to someone else’s desires when all we want to do is scream no. We eat when we aren’t hungry. We swipe right or scroll down when all we really want to do is take a breath and close our eyes.
So, at this point we are mid-way through our lattes and you may be wondering where the hell I’m going with this. Well, over the last week, I’ve said no without explanation, and then just sat back and observed. I observed discomfort, insecurity, literal pain, shame, fear, and of course, guilt.
My “no experiment” started off small. I would ask myself, “am I hungry?” when the answer was no, I stopped there. I didn’t rationalize or start picturing what meal I’d want when I actually got hungry nor did I start to worry about what I’d do when my tummy started to rumble, I just left it. That was it. Next thought.
I then graduated to saying no to a friend. Damn, babes, this one was a doozy. One of my girlfriends asked if I would run errands with her after our coffee date and I knew that this was my moment to walk my talk. The last thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store with my friend so I took a beat and said no. “Nope, that won’t work for me.” And then I just let it be silent. And uncomfortable. And a bit awkward. And without 30 seconds going by, the moment was over, and it was all good. Phew. No explanation. No excuses. Just a no said with love from the bottom of my heart.
Finally, I said no at work. And let me tell you, this no felt like an orgasm. I was asked to take on a project for someone who had the bandwidth to do it themselves. Before agreeing to take on any request, I asked for time to review my schedule and workload. This was a game changer in the saying no game, babes! Asking for a beat before we jump to say yes is crucial. I wrote a whole post about this that you can find here. Ultimately, I went back to my colleague and simply said no. The colleague tried to put up a “fight” and I simply said, “nevertheless, I’m unable to take on this project.”
Hell to the nah. No guilt. Smile still on my face. Living my best god damn life. Mic drop.
The brilliant Geneen Roth said, “Hell is wanting to be somewhere different from where you are.” So, say no babes. Say no, and experiment with sitting with the feelings that come up.
In what instances do you avoid saying no?
How does this type of behavior directly affect you?
How does this behavior affect others involved?
How would it help you and others involved if you said no?
Share with me! I’m dying to know your thoughts and if you are willing to consider experimenting with saying no.