High Quality No

Byron Katie and Oprah were talking about the issue of saying “no” to others and feeling used. Oprah mentioned some family members who repeatedly have “used her” and asked for money. But Katie said, “Nobody can use you.”

Oprah was confused. Of course, people use each other all the time! And Katie said, “What happened? They asked for money and you gave it to them. And then you didn’t want to give them money anymore. You felt bad because you gave them money and went against yourself. You never wanted to give the money in the first place.” Oprah then expressed her concern about saying no. Katie suggested a “high-quality no.” They acted it out.

Oprah: “I want $100,000.”

Katie: “I know you do. But…no.”

Oprah: “But you have so much money! Just give me $100,000. I really want it.”

Katie: “Yes, I know.  But I’m going to say no.”

Oprah admitted that she hasn’t always just said no. She’d say things like “I gave you money before and I told you I wouldn’t do it again…etc.”

A high-quality no is just a firm no. No need for defensiveness or a lecture or explanation. Just…no.

 

 

 

Self-Advocate

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Daily Painting Challenge (#10)

Listening to Oprah’s podcast with will.i.am, I was profoundly impressed with him not only as a musician, but as an education proponent. His i.am.angel foundation brings STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs to under-served communities. This foundation has also awarded over $800k in scholarships and 97% of these students are the first in their families to go to college.

Will echoes Milton Berle’s sage advice:

If a door closes, build a new door.

This reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago, when I was reading the Red4Ed message board. A school bus driver wrote: “Are you guys (teachers) demanding a raise and better benefits for us classified staff?” 

I see way too much self-medicating and not enough self-advocating these days. Don’t ever assume someone is looking out for you. You’ve got to do the heavy lifting yourself. Exercise your rights. Vote. Do something with what you have.

If you go by the usual quote, “When one door closes, another opens,” it assumes you will just wait for another one to open. When you build your own, it won’t ever close.

will.i.am