I have discovered a word that can turn anyone in a screaming, red-faced, quivering mass of fury, be it a 50-something grandmother, a 22 year-old college graduate, or a 4 year-old.
That word is “No”.
And I should really learn to use it more often. And stick to it when I do.
I’ve discovered that, at heart, I’m a really flexible, easy-going person. I go with the flow, often to my detriment. Even when I know I should be saying “no”, I say “yes” because it’s “easier”. Unfortunately, that “easier” keeps coming back to bite me.
In fact, I had a coworker warn me today about this very thing. And did I listen? Of course not. And there’s going to be an “I told you so” in there for me somewhere. And I’m going to deserve it, because my “yes” has already come back to bite me in the ass.
So maybe I should start applying the same rules I’ve learned about saying “no” to my kid:
1. Say “no”.
2. If they yell, say “no” again, in the same tone.
3. If they yell a third time, explain why the answer is still “no”.
4. If they yell a fourth time (or, as in the case of my little girl, starts trying to hit me), the answer is still “no”, somebody goes in for a time-out or a spanking (or possibly bedtime), and the matter is closed.
I foresee wailing and the gnashing of teeth the next time I say “no”, because I’m going to start taking the good advice I get, and stick to it.
Sometimes I hate self-examination. 🙂