The Art of the Unexplained "No"
The word "no" is not only one of my least favorite words to hear, it's also one of my least favorite words to say.
I love imagining possibilities.
I am optimistic about my capacity to do more than a 24-hour day allows.
I enjoy being agreeable.
I love saying yes.
Still, I am a firm believer in boundaries and that means a steady use of negatives. I try to be nice, but saying no leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. To "rinse my palate," I use a mouthwash of explanations and excuses hoping to get an understanding.
But lately I'm thinking there are advantages to giving an unadorned, simple, unexplained "no." I am particularly inspired by one of my favorite writers, E. B. White (of Charlotte's Web fame).
Check out this masterpiece which gives a clear "no" without giving clear reasons.
I'm taking notes.