The Art of Being Less Emphatic…

No, I don’t like oil-n-vinegar salad dressing,” I stated while shoveling in mouthfuls of what later turned out to be oil-n-vinegar salad dressing.

I hate the ocean. Why would I want to swim in a fish’s toilet?” Turns out, the fish’s toilet was quite refreshing and rejuvenating.

“If you want to run, I’ll hold your purse,” I told Jocelyn. “I’m not a runner. God gave me these two feet to operate the gas pedal and the clutch, not to run up and down mountains,” I said with determination moments before I broke into a trot and found that I didn’t completely hate it.

Maybe I acquired the habit of giving an emphatic “NO!” when I had kids. Isn’t it easier to say NO! as a first response to any child’s question, and then take some time to think about it? I mean, isn’t it better to say NO! up front and perhaps convert the NO into a YES later?

Um…the answer to that last question is “No, it’s not better to say NO! up front and perhaps convert that NO into a YES later.

In general, unless you are asked to compromise your integrity or break international laws, be less emphatic. Absolutes leave little room for negotiations.

And maybe it’s time that instead of offering a “NO” response as a knee-jerk answer that you change that to a “Yes, and…” answer. “Yes, and” says that you are willing to listen, take action, and do even more than is requested.

If you think about it, don’t you prefer to be surrounded by “Yes, and” people at home, at work and in life?

Yes, of course you are. And you can be one of them, too.


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