It’s more difficult saying “no” to other adults than it is to say “no” to my kids. I may periodically cave in to my children’s demands in a moment of weakness but I generally don’t carry the same level of guilt and responsibility that I do when another adult asks me to do something I don’t want to do. If I say “no” to selling Girl Scout cookies, does this make me a bad mom? How can I let down the men in blue (with all they sacrifice for me) by saying “no” to yet another Police Officer Fund call? No doubt the word “no” is the single hardest word to communicate with consistency and confidence. The first step for me is learning to say, “Let me think about it.” This buys me a little time to think about and practice my response.
This article from The Wall Street Journal is a great look at the psychology behind saying “no”.
Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP