It took me a while to realize it, but there is great power in the word “no”.  We all know the power of this word as two year olds. Somewhere along the road, however, we’re taught manners and all other sorts of things to make us better people and lose the benefits of embracing ‘no’.

I came to this understanding today through quite an unexpected series of events.

In brief, I was sat in a room with my employer today being berated for errors that were my fault (hey! I’m grown and have no problem accepting responsibility for my mistakes) as well as those that were not.  This scenario, unfortunately, is something typical for anyone who is employed in activities other than being “Real Housewives of…” on a reality television show.  It’s simply life.  However, I reached the conclusion that I do not have to accept everything, especially not rudeness from anyone.  I can say ‘no’.

During the beratement (yes, I made up that word and I like it!!!) things were made a bit too personal for my liking. Furthermore, not everyone in the room was being grown or accountable either.  Then it happened: the ‘stare down’.

The ‘stare down’ is nothing more than an intimidation tactic used to push the recipient into acknowledging fault even where they are not wrong.   If you fall for it, not only do you make this acknowledgement (stupidly I might add) you are also giving away your personal power.  So, for those of you who have followed me for some time and know me a bit won’t be surprised by what happened next: the ‘stare back’.

I employed the stare back as my ‘no’.   No, I am not who you are trying to tell me I am.  No, I will not agree with everything you are say.   No, I do not accept the way you are speaking to me now and for that matter I don’t care for how you speak to me and my colleagues on a daily basis.

There we sat across for each other. Neither of us moved, blinked nor appeared to draw breath.  I was determined to make my ‘no’ heard loudly so this non-verbal discussion would never need to be had again.  We were like to wolves on a desolate, snowy mountain staring without any sound between us other than the wind.  Then it happened: my opponent blinked and looked away – a sign that my ‘no’ was heard.

You have a right to embrace the power of ‘no’.   This is not the exclusive territory of tantrum-throwing toddlers.   You have paid enough dues, taken enough nonsense over the years and are now grown enough to know your value and that you can exercise your right to say, NO!!!

Laters & G’night,

Mantha Baby

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