My husband is telling me about a sales approach he and his employees are working with where the whole point of what you are doing with a prospective client is to get to the truth as quickly as you can. Part of what expedites that process is recognizing that a “no” from someone is just as good as a “yes.” I absolutely love it when I come across honest and authentic teachings in the day to day, and sometimes, even from the most unlikely of sources. In this case, a sales method.
Can you imagine getting to the truth, whatever it was in your life, alone or with others, as quickly as possible? No hemming and hawing. No hedging. No blaming. No avoiding. And could you also imagine that responding with a “no” was just as valuable as a “yes” in getting to that very same truth? No need to pretend. No need to fear what it would mean about or for you. No need to defend your position, or form committees as a way to garner back-up on why you get to refuse what it is that you do not want. Or need. Or feel comfortable with.
I have to tell you that as a women, this one concept alone is so revolutionary that had I known it earlier, I would have saved myself a world of suffering in my interactions with others. Especially with men. For most of my life I did not even know that “No” was an option. Not even when it would have protected me, or been in my best interest. Or how about this one? That I had a right to it; without explanation or apology. Just because.
How often do we say yes when we really need to say no? We do it all the time. We do it because we do not think others will like our response. We do it because we do not believe we are worth more, or have a choice. We do it out of fear. We do it out of habit. And we do it because that is what we have been conditioned to do.
Think about it. Every time we take into ourselves, or our lives, something which does not belong, we violate ourselves. We override the truth of our existence. The refusal of what we really need or want diminishes the power and the vitality of what it feels like to be alive. It makes a choice, instead, to live smaller, unsupported, and bogged down by the wrong things.
Like the toddler learning how to use the word “No,” we might be a little clumsy in our early attempts to draw a line. And sometimes that is why we can’t get ourselves there. We are afraid of how it might come out. Maybe that is in part due to how many “No’s” we have squelched over a lifetime; creating a backlog that feels like it has the power to destroy if ever unleashed. It makes me wonder if this is why we have such difficulties as adults with young children when they first start to realize that “No” is a choice. They can be absolutely drunk with the power of it all; completely unconcerned that we are put off by their refusal of something that we want them to do.
Do we struggle with them around this because we have become confused over our own right to assert ourselves? Do we resent the idea that someone else gets to do what we have not been able to do for ourselves?
If getting to the truth as quickly as possible makes sense to you, the truth is, we have just as much right to say no as to say yes. A commitment to getting to the truth will always be facilitated by our ability to respond as authentically as we need to. And, our ability to authentically respond will always bring us to the truth in a far more direct and satisfying way.