Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saying No

I have been preaching to my girlfriends lately
about saying no, because I have finally figured it out.

You say, "Oh I wish I could!" with a look of deep earnestness
and sorrow for the fact that you are unavailable to do whatever thing
you have just been asked to do.

You do not give a reason -
this I learned from the husband.

He says, "If you give a reason, you sound like you're trying to make an excuse,
and it gives them something to argue with you about, and it always comes out
sounding less important than you thought it would."

So there is this little awkward silence after you say,
"Oh I wish I could!"
while they wait for you to say why you can't.

But your look is so earnest and heartfelt and you smile so apologetically,
that after the awkward moment has passed,
they will either say, "okay, maybe next time," or
they might offer a reason for you, like,
"Oh, you're working that day?"

If they do this, watch out, you don't want to agree,
just keep that smile pasted on your face and ever so slightly nod.

To them, the nod means 'yes', and they feel better.
To you, it means,
"yes, please think whatever you like about my reason for saying no."

All that to say, I now find myself in the position of saying "no"
and it's not as easy as I made it out to be,
when I was preaching to my girlfriends.

I need a kick in the pants.




Beth said...

Elton John had it wrong. Sorry isn't the hardest word. No is.

Heidi Lee said...

Ok, I will try this.

But I have a feeling my kids will think I am being sarcastic, because I tend to be sarcastic a lot, and when I actually AM being heartfelt about something they say "Moooom" and I am all "No! NO! REALLY!!!"

I am the mom who cried the sarcastic wolf.

But it is a genius thought and I will definately try it!

Kulio said...

haha, Heidi, I didn't mean with your kids, although maybe that's a good idea! I mean when an adult person asks you do to something and you shouldn't really do it.

haha,,I'm picturing you sayin, "I wish I could!" and then not saying anything else. Your kids would be like, "what? huh?" haa...

Heidi Lee said...

Oh ha. I totally thought it was for KIDS because you know how it's not fun to say no, but it seems like that is always what your saying? It's that way for me.
To just give them a sad face and say "Oh, I wish I could!" It seriously could WORK...they might do just what you said, give me a weird face and walk away!

Diane said...

Ha ha ha - that's so funny with the kids. My kids tend to think like yours though, Heidi. They think I'm joking....and then when I realize that they think I'm joking, I start to laugh and then they REALLY think I'm joking.

Anonymous said...

I've actually been working on a post call "Just say no". Learning to say no is such a life improving skill.

krishna kashyap av said...

You are a genius..
Nice thought and funny as well..
Work from home