What will happen if I say, NO!?

I want to talk to you today about the reality of saying NO. If you are anything like me, you are thinking, “BWAH! Saying NO is better in theory than it is in practice!”

Despite the fact that saying NO can help you to draw your proverbial lines in the sand and create necessary borders, it. is. hard. to. do.

You know that – you’re a Sensitive Soul.

When you say NO when you mean NO, there is usually kick-back. People who you had been bending over backward to please don’t get their satisfaction. Their mouths gape open and they look at you like you’ve gone insane.


Or they shun you. Or they leave. Or they punish you for standing your ground.

You see, we’ve been taught never to take no for an answer. We’ve been taught, “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.”

And that makes it doubly difficult to stand behind saying no to something that you don’t want to do.

For example, I will be very honest and say that I do NOT like teaching kids English in groups. I’ve worked in a middle school setting and I’ve worked with a small group of 2nd graders before – and I hated it. I dreaded going into work. I wanted to cry before the group sessions. Fifteen-year-olds cursed me out in class. I couldn’t keep the second graders under control – they were doing somersaults and cartwheels in class – even the kid I put in the corner ended up with a garbage can on his head, banging it against the wall… LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! It was horrible.

When the time came to renew my contracts – as you can imagine – I said NO.

I said no to the moms who asked me to teach groups with their kids in them.

But no one will take my no for an answer.

They try to get some angle that will get me back into the classroom, back into my own personal version of hell – and I ain’t gonna have it!

And they are angry.

So, the result of my standing in my authentic desire is to be pushed a little outside of the social circle by the moms who want me to teach their kids. It sucks.

When a Sensitive Soul says NO, s/he faces that “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type of situation.

But a Sensitive Soul, just like anyone else – maybe even MORE than anyone else – needs to learn to do it.

Saying NO might not feel comfy or keep people in your life, but it is necessary for you AND it lets you know who the right people in your life are (those who will still love you after you’ve said no to them).

Here’s to the NOs in your life! I hope they come easily – or that you learn to accept the aftermath like I have. (mostly)
Sue Ellis-Saller