Small words carry powerful impact.
We do not live in isolation, always interacting with and relying on others.
To make those relationships healthier, a sage counselor advised me that one must know when — and how — to use four simple words:
Accepting gifts, compliments, and assistance with grace — and reciprocating such actions — requires liberal use of the word, “Yes.” Since no two people run parallel all the time, it’s essential to speak up in order to prevent resentment, boundary violation, and be true to our morals. We therefore understand the appropriate, but not excessive, application of, “No.” Despite good intent, others are only human and will push too far, inflicting pain. In such circumstances, we utter, “Ouch.” Finally, when nothing more can be done; the relationship is tattered and torn; the dialog consisting only of heated exchanges of “No” and “Ouch,” it’s time to move on: “Next.”
The concept seemed so simplistic that at first I ignored it.
Yet, over time, I realized its power. Simple can be extremely effective.
Part of its clout is that although this system works brilliantly with people-relationships, it is as efficient in relationship with one’s own habits. Upon analyzing any behavior, question one is, “Is this behavior serving me well?” If “Yes,” soldier on. If “No”, more analysis is in order. Does the behavior merely need to be tweaked to alleviate the pain (“Ouch”) or is it time to bid it farewell (“Next”)? [Read more…]