The Word “No”

Multiple times, I have been told, “The word ‘No’ is a complete sentence.”

If so, why can’t I stop after I say “No?” Why do I talk myself into a “Yes” or follow my “No” with enough loopholes to allow others to turn my “No” into a “Yes?”

A walking buddy once said, “It’s in the 20s.” I offered to walk when the temperature rose. Another time Mary said, “I can’t walk the two-mile loop today.” I suggested our one-mile route. Weeks later, she said, “You never let me be lazy and accept my ‘No’ to walking.” As a literalist, I didn’t realize she was saying “No” to walking.

What am I learning? If I can’t stop at “No,” I should add, “No, that time is scheduled.” Or “No, I am not available.” That is true even if I plan to read or take a nap. A relative said his go-to is “That doesn’t work for me.”

Why is such a little word so hard to say? Guilt? “No” is not a bad word. Our “No” may give another person the opportunity to say “Yes.”

Are you able to say “No” by just using a “N” and an “O?”

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