Such a Small Word. Such a Big Impact!
No is actually a power-word. Power: Wars are waged over it. Relationships are destroyed by it. Lives are lost because of it. Power is very valuable. The single biggest emotion that comes from the lack of it, is RESENTMENT. Mostly, we resent those people around us to whom we have given our power. We give our own power away without even noticing it, and on one fine day, we wake up and find that we are resentful, resentful of our partners, our children, our religion, our country, our boss or, our whatever.
It starts very slowly. We agree to do one small thing for a friend – something that we inwardly know that we do not really want to do. Instead of telling the friend that we do not want to do it, we agree to do it because we do not want to say no. Then another friend asks and, yet again, we agree. Our boss asks us to work late on a particular night and it is not convenient for us; our daughter asks for new shoes; our partner complains that we served pasta for supper two nights in a row; our church asks for more money; our country asks us to fight in its war – and so it goes on.
We do not point out to someone that we feel that they are taking advantage of us, or we do not say no at the time that the event is occurring. We let it slide “to save the peace.” And the next incident occurs. No one incident is by any means a major event, but eventually all these small incidents feel like a great, big mountain. Voila! We are resentful. When we have ignored all the small incidents for so long, everything becomes a major issue. It all just feels simply too much to cope with.
Resentment can only occur when we are out of integrity with ourselves, when we have agreed to do/give more than we can comfortably cope with, when we have said yes, when we should have said no. We do not establish boundaries. Boundaries are not there because we are selfish. Boundaries are there because we know that if our boundaries are crossed and we do not say anything – resentment is the result. Words that otherwise would not have been spoken, words that hurt, can be avoided if we do not give our power away and take on more than we can cope with.
It is the same when you allow someone to treat you with disrespect. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you. If you let it slide just once, you are giving that person permission to continue to treat you in a disrespectful way. Stay in integrity with yourself. Tell the person with whom you are interacting how you feel – BE HONEST. Do not attack the other person’s behaviour. Rather state clearly how you are feeling. E.g. “What you have said hurts me deeply and I would rather that you did not use that language in my presence again.”
Stay in integrity with yourself. Avoid doing or giving more than you feel you can cope with. By this I do not mean to say that you must avoid the situation, but rather learn the value of the word NO. It has been known to prevent wars.