If it’s not an absolute yes, it’s an absolute no.
Last month, I spent the last day of summer in a room of women chatting about all things mental health. From boundaries to finding Black therapists to generational behaviors to anxiety triggers, The Will to Be Well was a breath of fresh air accompanied by a slap in the face of what we each sometimes tend to suppress or completely ignore.
Much was shared that evening, but one of the statements that stuck with me was If it’s not an absolute yes, it’s an absolute no. The woman who said this wasn’t a speaker and I didn’t get her name, but she’s known for giving out absolutes yeses and no’s.
I think I’ve lived by this, even before I heard it phrased this way—before I found my voice to actually vocalize it.
If you don’t feel a yes from the tips of your toes to the backs of your eyeballs, she said, it’s an an absolute no.
Do you smudge your replies into the gray abyss of maybe? Are you like my sister whose favorite phrase is We’ll see? Granted, some no’s warrant an I’m going to say no for now, but I’ll let you know if anything changes—but in my opinion, most don’t; that initial reaction is your initial reaction for a reason.
What about you? Do you often hesitate to tell people no? Do you feel guilty saying no with conviction?