But it’s not real.
We’ve become such a sensitive culture that we’ve lost our back bone. People are afraid to speak their truth, even if it’s done with great kindness. The fear of either looking bad or disappointing someone is so much greater than just being honest. Well, guess what? When you say yes and you really mean no there will be disappointment and maybe even bigger disappointment due to wasted time and even money.
So how can you tell if someone is not being honest? For one thing they will say yes. Then, while they are doing the task, they will complain, mumble under their breath, talk badly about others, blame you, or procrastinate. What should you do if you suspect someone is not being honest with themselves. CALL THEM ON IT! You can say things like, “you know, I get the feeling you don’t really want to do this.” or “are you sure you are ok with this?” or “Why are you complaining?” or my favorite, “I don’t believe you when you tell me you are ok with this.”
It’s hard to tell the truth. It may mean you have to face some parts of yourself you may not want to. You may have to admit that you have a not so attractive side or face someone you love being disappointed. However, when you can really be honest with yourself and communicate with kindness when needed you will find that you have developed character. That people respect you and they can count on you to not be wishy washy.
To say yes when you mean no is clearly not the yogic way. In fact it goes against two of the 8 Limbs of the Yoga Sutras. Satya and Ahimsa.
There are 5 Yamas within the Yoga Sutras. Yamas are tenents in which to live by that make life flow easily and can keep you connected to a higher energy. Of the five, the two that deal with honesty are
Satya which means Truth or to be truthful and Ahimsa which means Non-Violence, to act in a way that is not hurtful to yourself your others.
So, when you say yes to something and you don’t want to, you are first not being truthful and second violent in the way that you are hurting yourself by going against your truth and dragging the other person down a road that could of been avoided. If they knew you didn’t want to do it they could of made a different choice. One that was going to work better in the end. They could of found someone who indeed meant their yes.
Find your courage. Take a deep breath. Put a smile on your face and kindly say “I’m sorry but I’m not able to do that at this time.” or “At this time that is not the right thing for me to be doing.” or “In order to be at my best I need to decline but thank you for offering.” You can say it any way you want that is not hurtful and I’m sure everyone will be happier in the end.
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