Say no

It’s a perfectly good word, but I can’t say it. It’s too long, too complicated, and

is not part of my vocabulary.(The meaning is at the end of this post.)

Yet, that’s not the hardest word to say. The hardest word has but 2 letters and is one of the first words we learn. But the infant who uses it soon learns it is not appropriate.

The word is “no.”

So we say yes when we really should say no.

About a year ago, I agreed to a project I
 ssumed was easier than it was. It was for someone who meant much to me. But once I got into the project, it had the same appeal as three-day old fish. I looked at the folder and did anything. I put it off and avoided it. I finished the project after dozens of hours. Looking back I should have said no early. He would have received a finished product quicker, and I could do something which fit me better.Most people agree to do too many things and accept too many invitations. Whether it be an assignment at work or a request to volunteer at school, “no” is seldom our response. No is the word of rejection. No is the word of failure. No is the word of laziness. Most people, if they examine their task list, finds it populated with things that repel them, but they accepted not to hurt someone’s feelings. Some pushy people continue to persist and saying “yes” is the path of least resistance.

When you neglect to say no, you also cannot say yes to what you enjoy, what fits your talents, and what provides satisfaction.

This is not to say just turn down every invitation that comes your way. It does mean to ask plenty of questions before saying yes. Do I have the time? The mental and emotional bandwidth? The true desire? Do I really know what I am agreeing to? (When people say, “it won’t take much,” ask dozens of questions to uncover the reality.) What will I give up to do this request?

For most of us, a healthy use of no would improve our lives, moods, and families. Next time someone asks you to help, take a deep breath and form “NO” on your lips and blow the word out your mouth.



(Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism means the art of using very long words to confuse people.)