Can I go to the movies, Mom?
No, because it costs a lot of money with the popcorn.
I won’t buy popcorn.
But the soda’s also expensive.
I won’t buy soda.
The tickets cost a lot.
I have my own money, so can I go?
No, because I don’t want to pick you up so late.
I have a lift.
Did you want the kid to go? Do you want to lend your favorite dress?
Drop the because. If you give a because…then you are giving the other person the ammo. You’re opening the door so he can talk his way into the answer he wants.
What you can say instead:
No, I’m sorry, it just won’t work out.
Not, “it won’t work out for me.” Keep me out of it. Stay neutral.
Or, “Yes, sounds great, maybe another time.” That’s even better. Let ’em live in hope.
Don’t say, “I’ll think about it,” because as my mother would say, then they’ll hock you from now until lunchtime on Yom Kippur.” (That’s a fast day.)
If they ask again, why not?
Be a broken record. Because it just won’t work out, because it just won’t work out…
You get the picture. (About the illustration, it has nothing to do with what I’m saying except her name is Tuesday Taylor.)
This works for any situation: colleagues asking you to help them with a
report you don’t want to help them with, friends, partners, children, neighbors
(“Do you mind if I borrow your lawn mower?”).
We really can transform our life in tiny ways beginning today, just by how we respond. And the benefit is that we don’t get bogged down in a swamp of resentments because we wanted to say no and were manipulated out of it.
Tool for Tuesday: Drop the because.