Saying no can be hard, but hearing no can be even harder.
That’s the two way street of healthy relationships. To quote the old playground adage;
If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.
And so, for every time we courageously stand up for ourselves and declare our values, we must also be equally respectful when people announce theirs. Because growing defensive and becoming angry and pretending the word no doesn’t exist and instinctively pulling down a curtain of denial and bulldozing our way through the brick wall of other people’s boundaries, that’s not persistence, that’s petulance.
It may be highly effective when selling used cars, but in our personal relationships, it’s just throwing stones from a glass house.
When I first started my career as a writer, my editor gave me a useful mantra for responding to critical readers. He told me to tell them:
I respect your opinion of my work.
After all, we can’t get mad at people for disliking something we made. It’s their perfect right. We would expect the same respect to be extending towards us. And we have to learn to idle our motor even when we feel like grinding our gears. To practice staying calm when people set boundaries with us.
Not to receive their act of integrity as a personal affront to our existence, but to lovingly say to people, thank you for telling me about your boundary, and I’ll do my best to respect it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you more skilled at saying no to people than you are at hearing no from them?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2017–2018.
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