Loving others often means saying ‘no’ April 13, 2016 – Posted in: Relationships
This morning my two youngest daughters returned to school after a two-week Easter break. Poor Nancy, my 7 year old, was feeling really nervous and asked to stay home. I know, as her mum, that this would not be a loving thing to do. It would be easy to let her stay home and it would give her what she wanted, but it wouldn’t be the most loving thing to do. The most loving thing was to say, ‘no’, give her a big cuddle and allow her to face her trepidation. I know for a fact that she’ll be dashing around the playground right now with her friends and will have forgotten her earlier nerves.
This is a small example of ‘no’ being more loving than ‘yes’.
Another example… my children often ask me to referee their arguments and I used to do this. I learnt to my cost that when I act as referee I end up being disliked by one child and manipulated by another. So, now, when they ask me to get involved in their quarrels I say, ‘no – let me know how you guys sort this out yourselves’. And then I walk away.
Not easy but a far sight more effective (and loving to us all) than my old way. Arguments that used to last for 20 minutes have usually blown over within 2-3 minutes these days…
Loving other people often involves saying, ‘no’. Not because we want to be mean but because we want to do what’s right. If your friend asks you to hate her ex-boyfriend (a guy who is your long-term friend) on her behalf then you might have to say, ‘no’. Because no one should tell you who to hate and loving her means being honest about this. If your son asks you to lie for him you might have to say no because this would not be good for him (or you).
Loving others means saying ‘no’ to gossip if you don’t like it
It means saying no to work if it compromises your values
It means saying no to your alcoholic parent who is begging you for money for a bottle
It means saying no to your 12-year-old who wants to watch an 18-movie
It means saying no to the client who won’t work on your terms
It means saying no if you can’t afford it
If saying yes feels like you are compromising who you are then think about saying no. If saying yes feels like you’re ducking responsibility then think about saying no. But, if you’re saying no to be punishing then think about saying yes.
When deciding what to say, look for your intention. You will find the right word to match your intention. Then speak it with all the love you have in your heart.