Have we lost the power of yes and no?

It takes courage to say no. Women and people who consider themselves polite /kind /generous /talented /hip often find it impossible to say no. Not just to sex or drugs, but requests for money or help or time, or to agree with someone else's opinion and go along with wrongdoing. Reclaiming NO is vital to reclaiming your life if you are overworked and stressed, if you are abused, if you are being attacked. You do not owe anything to anyone unless you agree to. Say no nicely, kindly, firmly, sternly; just remember that you have NO to use when you need it.

The power of YES is something we hear less about. Negativity is so fashionable for the chic and the geek. We love to be sarcastic, cynical, and skeptical. And we don't like to commit to something that makes us yearn to say yes!, whether it's love, religion, mono no aware, a sense of wonder, a chance at happiness... or even a sentimental movie. Yes is also an admittance. "Yes, I am a feminist," "Yes, I'm gay," "Yes, I'm Christian." But not a confession. It's not a sin to be you. Yes is sometimes even a surrender, but not in defeat. Saying "Yes, I love you" is not a giving up or giving in. It's a removal of barriers--and that's frightening. It takes courage to say yes, but the barriers you break down lead you to better things.

this self-help moment brought to you by John Locke's Literature of the Heroine class. sorry. ;p

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