No Before Yes? Yes, Please

For some time I’ve been meaning to write a post on my instinct/pattern of saying “No” before I say, “Yes.”

And this is not just “No” to big asks. This is “No” to requests large and small—“No” to requests others make of me and to requests I make of myself.

What’s a request I make of myself?

Well, despite loving practicing yoga, I don’t (gasp) bound onto my mat every morning with joy in my heart.

More often than not, mental bargaining and extensive procrastination occur beforehand.

That said—almost every day—if I give myself permission to say “No” to a long practice I find myself rolling around on my mat quite some time later.

So  I’ve known “No before yes” works for me. But why?

This morning I received an email from a marvelous woman whom I use to communicate with my pets. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

She pointed out that animals—and people—often have a reflexive “Safety no” to situations and people; that this is a by-product of being easily over-stimulated and/or having a history of boundaries being breached.

(Hello? Have we met?)

The point of her email was to remind us to be patient with our animals if they have a “safety no” in play. Force will backfire.

My point to you is the same.

If you, or someone you know, has a reflexive “safety no,” be patient with them.

You might be surprised by how quickly they—you—come around.


For more on what the animal kingdom can teach us about ourselves, and others, take a look at, “What to Do with Others’ Resource Guarding Issues”