“No” is Not a Curse Word
Harlem Park Elementary School
1401 Lafayette Ave
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
19 September 2012
Elder William James Carter, The 1st
© The Christian Perspective
“No” is Not a Curse Word
All too often parents work tirelessly for their families and those that surround them. But that work comes a great cost. That cost is that parents are often stressed, worn out, tired, impatient, underfed and the like. With that bad health is often not only at the door but sitting in the easy chair. When this happens parents are not good for themselves or their children. They have said yes way too often to way too many people for all the wrong reasons.
Saying yes is proper and right but not always necessary. There is no need to say yes to everybody for everything because it will have a negative impact. One impact, as noted is stress. But what is stress? There are two forms of stress; one good and the other not so much. The first form of stress is eustress which is a positive stress that provides energy for us. It is the kind of stress that is useful for creativity as well as getting us out of dangerous situations. For instance, if we are cross the street and suddenly a car comes streaming down the road we are suddenly filled with certain adrenalin that allows us to run across the street to safety.
The second type of stress is called distress. Some synonyms for distress are:
This, however, is not the whole of negative stress. There is another term for negative stress which is hyperstress. Hyperstress is the compilation of a number of negative stressors which makes a person feel like there is no hope. Feelings of depression can seep in which makes the stress all the worse. Unchecked stress can:
- lead to emotional distress
- spiritual exhaustion
- Physical illness
Much of this stress can be alleviated if we simply learn to say “no”. Many seem to think that saying no is a curse word. That is many see denying others their services as being an obscenity or blasphemous. It is not. Not only is it OK to say no but often it is necessary to say no. For instance; if your child wants you to buy him $200.000 pair of tennis shoes but budget not only disallows it but he just received a new pair of tennis shoes at the start of the school year. It is OK to say no if only because there is no need for them.
And then there are the neighbors. They need this and they need that. Milk is needed for the baby but the store is two blocks away and she just came from the store. And then there are other needs of neighbors that really are not needs rather they are desires that have little to no necessity. But in the mind of the one seeking your help it is not only urgent but an emergency. But you just arrived home from work and dinner needs to be prepared. You are tired and the kids need help with their homework. Not only that you have to prepare for the next day’s work. It is OK to say no. This is a small part of the picture of the working parent because there are many other aspects to their lives. This is a list of things most of us are involved in or with:
- Self – Most often denied behind God and Church
- Friends and neighbors
- Civic duty
With all this going on it is quite easy for a life to fall out of balance. In his book Margin Dr. Richard A. Swenson outlines steps to “restore balance.” Those steps are:
- Regain control over your own lives.
- Place God at the center of all things, and build outward from there.
- Beware of the trap of trying to solve the problem of imbalance by becoming even more unbalanced.
- Accept the No given by others.
Above all say NO when you need to and when you want to. It is OK to pamper yourself. So,
- Take that bath and let Calgon take you away (in my case Mr. Bubble)
- Watch a movie
- Twiddle you thumbs
- Take that walk
- Love You!
5 thoughts on ““No” is Not a Curse Word”
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Good stuff. I teach people, in my counseling office, that just “No,” with a smile and no excuses or explanations, can work wonders.
When I was first working as a nurse it was very hard for me to say no but there came a point where you have to make a choice and I learned quickly. Telling my children no was much easier somehow. Hearing no from someone else sometimes hurts but I try to remember that even though I don’t always know the reason, they have to choose what is best for them as well. When we get a no from God we have to trust that He knows what we need much better than we do! Sometimes it’s a reminder that we should reconsider what we are doing or asking.
Absolutely. Thanks for that insight.