If it often sad that if one can’t say no, then their yes doesn’t mean anything. And while having the ability to say yes is clearly important, so is being able to say no. They both have their uses and this will often depend on the context that one is in.
To say yes can become a habit and something that people do without even thinking about it. At the time it can seem like the right thing to do and this can soon turn to a sense of regret.
And there are some people who can say yes without it feeling like the right thing to do, but they can’t seem to say no regardless of this internal resistance. So there will be conflict during the decision and after the decision.
No matter whether it is one of the scenarios above or another, it will create a challenge for someone.
This could be something that happens on the odd occasion or it could be something that is a regular occurrence. If it does happen every now and then, it is unlikely to create too many problems.
What will also make a difference is what one is saying yes to. To say yes at certain times and to things that are fairly inconsequential won’t lead too much. And yet if what one says yes to here and they are big things, then it will could to troublesome consequences.
And in today’s world, to be ‘easy going’ is often looked at as being a good way to be. To be another way can be seen as problematic and to create unnecessary tension.
If one is easy going they are then peaceful and an example of how to be a good citizen. To say no and to stand up for oneself can be seen as a problem that could lead to unrest. So through having people that say yes, it will lead to not only more harmonious relationships, but also to a more harmonious society.
To be unable to say no to a beggar on the street for example is unlikely to be a problem. However, what will be a problem is if one is constantly in situations where they are asked to do something that they would rather not do and end up saying yes.
This could be to do with all the friends that one has or just that one friend who one can’t say no to. Perhaps it’s in the working environment and one is asked if they would mind taking on more work or responsibilities and always say yes.
It could also be something that affects ones life so much, that their whole life has become a yes, when so much of it needs to be a no.
So some people can maintain their boundaries and assertively say no and for others this is a massive challenge. And what this comes down to is the personal meaning that one has. For the person that can say yes and no, in their reality it is okay to say both. For the person who can only say yes, in their reality, it is not safe to say no.
This shows that each person’s ego mind has a different meaning and therefore interprets saying no differently. For the person who can say no, it will generally feel comfortable to do so. And for the person that can’t, it is likely to feel uncomfortable.
When it comes to the person who can’t say no, their ego mind is likely to have formed certain associations around saying no and these can be:
· That it would lead to one being rejected
· That it would lead to one being abandoned
· That one would end up being humiliated
· That one would end up alone
· That one would feel guilty
· That one would feel ashamed
· That it is not safe to do so
And as saying no could lead to this and may have even lead to this in the past, one will then avoid saying no at all costs. For as long as these associations exist within, one will continue to attract people and situations that match them. Or they will interpret situations so that they do match them.
The ego mind is constantly looking for evidence that validates what it believes to be true. And these associations are classed as the truth. They are familiar and what is familiar, is what is safe.
So although these associations are causing one to say yes, when they should be saying no, to the mind it is a matter of survival.
However, these associations could have been formed during a traumatic incident in ones adult life or when one was a child. They then became absolute meanings that relate to everyone and to all situations.
As a child one may have been brought up by a caregiver or had someone else in their life who didn’t allow them to say no. Here they would have learnt that it wasn’t safe to say no and as their survival was based on pleasing this person, saying no may well have been a dangerous thing to say.
The ego mind will hold onto what happened in the past and then project it onto others and cause one to recreate the same experiences. One way of looking at this, is that the ego mind is Interpreting saying yes as familiar and therefore safe so therefore one is attracting these situations into their life. Another way of looking at it is that it is allowing one to be aware of what they need to let go of.
It has come to ones attention to be resolved and so that one can move on. This process can be assisted by a therapist, coach or a healer. Or one may feel that they can work on this by themselves.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.