I can’t tell him.
My client welled up with tears, almost unable to speak. She choked on her words, and sobbed. “I didn’t sleep all night.” Her boyfriend of five years had to move since the place he rented was sold by the owner. She knew she didn’t want him to move in with her.
She also knew he would be very hurt if she told him the truth.
Giving someone “bad” news, before you even deliver it, can wreak havoc on the nervous system if you have a lot of beliefs about Not Hurting Other Peoples’ Feelings.
Never hurt other people. Ever!
This means if they have a look on their face that could be interpreted as sad, upset, irritated, angry, frightened, anxious or devastated….
….then that feeling needs to be eradicated inside that other person ASAP.
Especially if YOU had anything to do with it.
So if you know that the other person is going to cry, or feel terrified, or get disappointed about something you are thinking or something you want to say, then you better be quiet and slip out the back door.
Heh Heh. Not that I can relate or anything.
It is quite terrible to have three opposing thoughts running as very deep, maybe very old beliefs at the same time: 1) It’s terrible to hurt someone’s feelings, 2) I want to say NO, 3) If I say NO it will hurt his feelings.
Here we go round the mulberry bush, loop-dee-loop roller-coaster.
Stop this thing, I wanna get off!
Let’s do The Work.
“I can hurt someone’s feelings if I say NO.”
Is that true?
Yes. I saw his face. I know it.
Can you absolutely 100% beyond-any-doubt know it?
No. It appears that life goes on for most people even when they receive a “no”. It’s a simple answer. They get to move on to the next thing. They take as long as they take. It’s quite complicated sometimes. Maybe it has absolutely nothing to do with me. At all.
How do you react when you believe that he can be hurt by you saying NO?
Bottled up like a cork going around on a Disney Land ride that never quits. Dizzy and sick.
Who would you be without the thought that saying no is hurtful?
Really? Wow. Liberating.
“Give me a peaceful reason to believe this insane idea that you could have that much influence over anyone….As long as you think that it’s compassionate for human beings, and loving, to believe that you can hurt someone….that’s crazy where I come from. I don’t have that power.” ~ Byron Katie
I turn the thought around: I can’t hurt someone’s feelings with my NO. I can hurt my own feelings with their NO.
That person over there, who I love dearly, and who hears my NO is actually filtering this answer through an entire history and world of past experience. I can sit here and cherish them, and know they are fine even though my answer is NO.
Once, a father and daughter came to see me to do The Work. They were remarkable in their honesty and love for each other. The daughter did a worksheet on her dad. She was upset that he said NO to giving her financial support, and he clearly had it to give.
But with a loving heart he spoke what appeared to be deeply true for him. “I love you and want you to find your own way with money.”
They hugged a long, tender hug at the end of the powerful session. The truth was spoken.
And then there’s me and all the times I myself got all freaked out when someone said no, or even appeared to say no.
God forbid, they are saying no to MOI? Shocking!
Yeah, I have taken other peoples’ NO’s personally. I thought it meant something about ME. Something bad. Gosh, could it be mistaken thinking?
“When you believe the thought that anyone should love you, that’s where the pain begins. I often say, ‘If I had a prayer, it would be: God spare me from the desire for love, approval, or appreciation. Amen.” ~ Byron Katie
It is not terrible to hurt someone’s feelings. It is terrible to hurt my own feelings (especially by faking yes when I really mean no). I can hurt someone’s feelings by saying YES when I really mean NO.
All those turnarounds are truer!
“God permits you to be happy no matter what or when. Nature permits you to be happy no matter what or when. The only permission you need is yours to be happy all the time.” ~ Bruce DiMarsico
Happy when people say no to me, happy when I say no to people, happy when I say no to myself.
Maybe it is all OK, even if someone feels hurt, even if you have felt hurt. Maybe it is healing, not really “hurting”.
Now go forth and say no! Unless it’s yes.
Much love, Grace