it’s time to be civil (18)


#9. Respect even a subtle ‘No.’ … Why is it difficult to take ‘No’ for an answer? Because the child in us, the two-year old who stubbornly wants to have things his or her way, never completely disappears. In many cases, this is compounded by a self-esteem problem. We often take a ‘No’ as a rejection of our whole being. Therefore, we equate that ‘No’ with a serious threat to our self-image. Thus the more we are able to say, ‘Yes’ to ourselves, the better we will be at graciously accepting a ‘No’ from others. The way we treat others always depends on the health of our sense of Self.”

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); p. 75

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