NO! NO, NO! This word has a strong connotation associated with rejection, bad manners and unacceptable societal behavior. It is a word that most people do not want to hear. Usually one avoids saying NO in the hope that they will not hear it either.

The whole reasoning around the YES is ingrained in us at every turn and corner as an approval and acceptance mechanism. When one says YES then people will like or love you more, or think you are a good person, or praise you and the list is endless. When one says NO, they are regarded as difficult and rude with no place in society and certain circles. When we start breaking down this phenomenon, the person with strongest YES will start learning to say NO.

Take for example, in the work place, when a timely promotion seems unlikely, this could be for many reasons. It could mean that your performance requires improvement; or that your boss does not really agree with you; or that it’s time to move on. Alternatively it could mean you are not assertive enough to get what you deserve. This could also mean you are better off finding another space where you will be better appreciated.

However, most people will sit in the same spot wishing and wanting what is not going to happen. Resentment and self-condemnation become the toxic spaces that one creates remaining in such scenarios. Basically this is a complete NO from life that ought to be taken as a wakeup call to change something that’s not working.

Let’s take this to relationships, when a person says NO to another there is a sense of deep rejection. Instead of being thankful for the honesty of the other person we take it upon ourselves to belittle and shrink ourselves for receiving a NO. It would be foolhardy to think that every YES is a long lasting relationship as most end up as short lived experiences.

The more I have learned to say NO to what does not resonate with me, the easier my life has become. NO to those who are energy vampires; NO to work that goes against my values and principles; NO to the person who says he loves me and is dishonest and unfaithful; NO to being imposed on by others and a definite NO to bystanders with idle time to gossip on their hands.

It is important to understand and accept that unless one knows what they want and what they don’t want, it is not easy to set boundaries. One can become a garbage disposal and be taken advantage of without drawing these lines.

Start experimenting saying NO when you feel you are exhausted or when you do not have the time and you will be surprised at the results. Some will suddenly not care about what you feel and be upset with your NO and others may even have some things to say that will astound you.

Life is not about getting other people’s approval or acceptance. It is really about your Yes and NOs defining what you stand for and the quality of life you want to live!

The Indian Black Butterfly!

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