Saying “no” is easy right? Think about all of the times you told your dog “no” when he begins to jump up on guests. Think of the times your children reached up to grab something hot and you shouted “NO!” in an effort to save them from themselves. So why is it so stinking difficult to say “no” to the ones we love?
Owning Your Truth
Every time I prepare myself to say “no” to my wife it feels like mental warfare firing off inside the very core of my existence. My mind races with thoughts like, “Is this the time I will push her too far?”; “Is this the time that saying ‘no’ will create a tidal wave that comes crashing down and washes away the love and intimacy of our relationship?”; “Will this be the last happy moment I am ever able to remember with her again?” In my rational mind, I fully realize that none of these catastrophic events are ever really going to come to fruition.
But the mind is an evil trickster and is wired to keep us safe. And staying safe means staying out of harm’s way. And staying out of harm’s way means staying agreeable… Right?
I don’t believe it does. I believe that staying safe actually stems from owning one’s truth. It’s completely sharing, with reckless abandon, the way you feel and think about almost all situations that are presented to you and your relationship. That’s owning your truth.
Saying “No, I don’t want to go out to eat with your friends tonight” does not make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean you are rude, self-centered, or narcissistic. What it does do is make you …honest.
Authenticity = Relationship Growth
Owning your truths will also begin to open up the pathways for more in-depth conversations with your partner about your likes and dislikes, as it applies to much more than just food and movie choices. It’s from this place of authenticity, of love, and of vulnerability that I believe true, transformational relationship growth occurs.
And that’s really what we are all searching for, isn’t it? The deep connection that allows us to be exactly who we are. The one that allows us to share our darkest secrets and our most intimate truths. The one that empowers us to own what we enjoy and what we do not.
It takes entering that very space and adopting that very mindset in order to bring it to fruition. Hiding in the shadows and being ultra-agreeable may seem like the “easy” way to go. Well, that’s because it is the easiest way to go. It’s the easiest way to water you down to a shell and fraction of what you once were and what you ultimately desire to be.
The next time you consider just “sucking it up” and saying “yes” to appease your partner, think again. Don’t take the easy way out. Tell your partner how you feel and if you wish you could say “no,” then do it! Just be ready to explain why.