“…Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.” – Stephanie Lahart
When we disagree with others, most of us try to explain our reasons, especially when we have to say “no.” We explain ourselves in an attempt to help those we are talking to understand more clearly our intentions. We strive to be understood authentically but also to be liked for our choices. This way of interacting with each other turns into a highly inaccurate way of understanding each other. This way of defining each other will encourage some to believe that they are more important than others, while others will be lead to believe that they are inferior. The truth is, nobody needs to understand any of our preferences, least of all to be defined by any of them. In all cases, we need to respect the preferences and choices others make. Whether it be declining a dinner invitation or choosing where we want to live, we all have our own set of likes and dislikes that form our preferences, and we are always entitled to act on them. The most surprising part of acting with this kind of honesty, is that it makes us much more appealing to those we interact with. We come across as more honest and reliable, because even if they don’t like the answer they like feeling as though they are being told something truthful. We all prefer this kind of authentic honesty over someone who merely agrees with us only to pacify in the hopes that they make themselves more palatable. No matter what choices you make in your life you are entitled to hold each one. If you know who you truly are, then there is no need for any consensus with anyone else. But if you do not know who you truly are, then we tend to look to others to help us understand and confirm our goodness, our veracity and our lovability. Simply put, we seek to validate our worthiness through the opinions of others because consensus feels like truth when we are indecisive or unknowing. The only thing that I know for sure is that we are all here to live a life that we choose ourselves and our choices in this life don’t have to be in accord with anyone else. It’s your life, it’s your time to spend, and you are the beneficiary of all that you produce. I am love. I am joy. I am so very good.