"I’m sorry I can't, I just don't want to."
I've long known that "NO" is a complete sentence, but it doesn't mean I've practiced it. Largely because people can be very impolite. And pushy!
Not long ago I told somebody I would not be present at an event. Pressed I truthfully said I had some things that required my attention before heading out of town. The pressing and ridicule began. A common tactic of people. I dug in and exclaimed with greater force, "I will not be there and you won't shame me into attending." No is indeed a complete sentence.
Dr. Henry Cloud is likely known as the father of boundaries. Read his books including Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life. Each of us has to determine and establish the boundaries that serve us. That doesn't mean we give each other the Heisman pose. It does mean we display enough grace to each other that we stop thinking only of ourselves and quit pressuring people to do what WE want them to do.
I posted this over at Facebook just recently.
Social media is N-O-T-O-R-I-U-S for poor behavior. Even by decent or good people. The whole "IBK" (idiot behind keyboard) mindset sometimes captivates any of us. We get stupid. Some more quickly than others.
Not long ago a buddy of mine posted something that any reasonable person would have realized was very innocuous. In Messenger, a person took issue exclaiming she was "offended" because he had used the phrase "stinky people." ;)
No grace. No consideration. No thoughtfulness. No mindfulness. Just an exclamation that she was offended. It was a joke about a king who has been dead for 400 years and an anonymous man. It wasn't directed at her or any particular group of people. Hello Thin Skin, meet offense!
He was quite measured in his response. Not sure I would've been. Mostly because I often feel like the ninnies need a battle. Else, they'll always win. And we're severely outnumbered by them as it is. They're growing by leaps and bounds. Purveyors of wisdom appear to be shrinking, in spite of our collective efforts here at LTW.
Reminder: SurroundedByNinnies.com is a domain I own. Click on it and check it out.
"NO" isn't a hateful response. Why do people who hear it think so? Because they're selfish ninnies. They're giving no consideration to the person who says, "No." They're brassy enough to think they DESERVE an explanation. You owe them. Or so they think.
No, you don't.
Intentions play a role. So do expectations. So let's think about those two notions, but let's do it reverse order.
The reality of expectations is our perceptions. We perceive things the way we perceive them. Is that ingrained in us? Is it unchangeable? It's a debate, but this much appears true. Humans appear to be made of love (those of us who believe in God and the Word of God already believe this truth). Love is the number one addiction of all people.
Cardiovascular disease is the number killer. But lack of love - and the stress created by it - likely kill many, many more.
God designed us this way. To crave and seek love. To express that love toward others.
Increasingly, brain scientists believe we're built to see the glass half full. Neuroscientists tell us we're born with a perfect core genetic code. We make choices and those choices impact our DNA. So our perfection can have negative genes piled on top of them, but those imperfect genes resulting from previous generations are closed or dormant. Those imperfect or negative perceptions are learned. The environment wakes up those negative genes.
Two children can grow up in an identical environment but result in completely different ways of life. Because all of us, every minute of every day engage in thinking, feeling and choosing. Choosing to think negatively launches negative perceptions which will drive negative behavior.
People can be saved from themselves,