When The Answer Is No

Have no fear, we all have boundaries.

The human heart answers no very rarely. The direction to our brain is to answer no yet the voice will utter yes regardless of the inner truth. Many of us wonder why the switch?

What I learned is that the answer yes gives us as an addictive byproduct…….a warm feel good sensation that turns into the reassurance that we are useful and wanted. It increases and highlights our self-worth and value within society. We, as humans, seek to align ourselves with the prevailing belief that more is better…………one more chore on the to do list won’t hurt; one more item on a full plate is okay; the family will understand another weekend of overtime.

Experience and history have proven that the stress, anxiety and strain of doing the maximum all the time is killing the one helping and enfeebling the ones being helped. Boundaries are essential if mankind is to continue living as social beings.

An assortment of voices on various platforms, in their declarations of ‘ you can do and have it all’ tell us the secret is in learning to plan ahead and prioritize. If you arrange your activities for the day in specific time slots and stick to the arrangement, you can maximize your time and potential.

Photo by/Matt Sclarandis

I myself know that the aphorism ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray’ is a reality. It has also been proven that more gets done when we listen to our gut and not our heart. Upon the request for help there is a gut reaction. If our reaction is resentment the result is discomfort and upset. For every no said we gain ten yes answers.

As stated, responding to a request with a negative answer is unnatural, foreign to our basic human nature. Acceptance of a negative response is also unnatural and foreign. Graveyards contain their share of those who said no and were killed for the answer. Personal experience has taught the majority of us that rejection can hurt.

The question becomes how to say no. For this there are books and courses to guide us through the process, assist us in developing tact and courage. Successful and healthy people today have discovered their limitations and arranged their lives accordingly. They have honed their instincts and learned to protect their thinking ability.

Though there are some who will balk upon hearing no, most of us do little more than shrug our shoulders and sigh. The fear of saying no is fading. Respect for each others’ boundaries is on the rise. Without boundaries we leave ourselves open to failure, confusion, depression and harm.

Photo by/Denys Nevozhai

Humility will get us to the top of the mountain.


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