“No, thanks” will do, thanks

I am more and more present to the way we interact with each other as human beings.

To the simplest questions, we will do everything in our power to avoid “being personal” about anything. We will make up reasons, justifications and excuses to say “No”.

This makes sense, though, because people take things personally all to often, for things that just aren’t personal.

“Do you want a cup of tea?”
“I’ve just had three cups of coffee and a cup of tea. So, no.”

The simplest requests get met by reasonable reasons. But all that was asked was “Do you want a cup of tea?” For which the appropriate, unreasonable response is “Yes, please”/”No, thanks”/”No, thanks. I’d prefer some water, will you get that for me?”

Now, imagine, you’re 18 years old, slightly shy and self-conscious. You’ve been single for months and haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone for ages. You’re in a bar with some mates, just bantering away with each other. Meanwhile, you’ve been noticing all the pretty girls walking in, dancing, getting drinks and being hit on by a bunch of random guys. You keep sitting there all night.   Nothing happens.

This has been my story for a large part of my life, always going out with an intention, and always being let down (by myself). Do you know why that is?

I was so scared of walking up to a pretty girl, in front of all of her friends, engaging with her, asking her out…and…getting a “No” as an answer. What would that mean about me? What would that mean about who I am, the way I look, and everything I do? 

Of course, in reality, all that happens is I ask “Will you go out with me?” and she says “No” (or “Yes”, or “Alternative”). She responds to the request, not to me.

But, for years, I’ve been worried about the “reason”, a reason that doesn’t exist, and doesn’t need to exist. I’ve missed out on all the pretty girls who could’ve turned out to be great friends, girlfriends or just a great conversation for the night.

Imagine if we didn’t:

  1. Justify our responses (Yes/No/X) with a reason, and
  2. Take things personally.

We would be able to respond to requests with whatever we wanted, and know that the person on the other end of the response sees that as a powerful choice, and not a personally-motivated attack.

This is something I am taking on board with all areas of my life, making requests of people and accepting their response as a powerful (and not personal-motivated) choice. And, responding to all requests on the same basis. (Of course, I am still learning to keep this alive all the time, so feel free to call me out where ever you “see” me out of alignment)

In all your interactions with me, please remember nothing is personal, and if there is any influence, I will be open and honest about it.

After reading this post, did you learn something about yourself and your life? Will you take this on board in your life and your interactions?

Leave a reply