I think the most important lesson I acquired from my divorce was learning to say NO.
NO, I do not want to be respected in this way. NO, I do not have to accommodate this decision. NO, I will not do this to placate. NO, I do not want to make up for your feelings. NO, I am too tired to be cheerful. NO, I do not feel like smiling now–in particular, upon demand. NO, I do not want to make small talk with people who are unpleasant. NO, I do not enjoy watching people get fall down drunk. Sorry that bores me. NO, I am not going there because everyone else is going. NO, I am not going to that place either. NO, I don’t want to watch that show. NO, I do not want to pretend, ever again, that I am enjoying myself when I do not. NO, I am not staging anything in order for another to appear better. NO, NO, NO.
One can say NO, THANK YOU, if you feel so inclined to soften the NO, which, coming from most women, is usually met with some resistance.
Saying NO allows one to say YES.
- YES, I want to live authentically.
- YES, I make mistakes and I am OK in life.
- YES, I can experience joy.
- YES, I have boundaries.
- YES, I am here to be who I am.
- YES. YES. YES.
What I noted was that I had to get comfortable saying NO before I could get to YES. For some, saying YES first and frequently, squeezes out the NO, so it makes NO a bit easier to say. Best to figure out what works for you. I believe that YES proved to be more confusing to me because women are taught to accommodate and say YES at their own expense, so I had to get comfortable saying NO.
Say NO to say YES. Figure out how many times you say YES when you really mean NO. If you start thinking about it and realize you never wanted to say YES to begin with, but felt pressured to do so, you need to think about why and how and with what frequency you say YES. It’s one thing to say YES if it’s a rather small ask. It’s another thing if saying YES chafes against your personal beliefs or narratives.
BREAK: Write Your Divorce Workshop will be held on November 14 SUNDAY 7-9AM (HST). Learn about how YES and NO affect the story you tell yourself about your divorce. This workshop will give you the tools that you need to write your story for your legal/personal file.