When a person says “No” and really means it, he or she is doing far more than saying a word of two letters. The entire organism—glandular, nervous, muscular—gathers itself together into a condition of rejection.
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
My youngest daughter’s favorite word right now is “No, no.”
She is so cute when she says it.
Without a doubt, however, she learned it from her parents and her sisters who must say it so often that she picked it up on her own.
She has helped me see how often I say “no” throughout the day. When I say no to my kids, they immediately get into a posture of opposition.
“Why?” or “please?” often follow.
Something I’ve tried this week is to get them to say “yes, yes” to a series of questions before I give a response.
It takes a lot of patience, but it makes the “no” answer more acceptable.
It also helps me think deeply about why my reaction might be “no” in the first place. Maybe it is no big deal. Slowing down helps me think, too.