Monday morning - the perfect time to some emotional mathematics? How about if we learn this maths from a young child? Would that make it easier?
Negative minus a Negative = Positive
Emotional maths? How does it feel when someone says, "No!" to you. Not nice, is it? So today I'm going to suggest that you say, "No!" to 'No!' - in your head at least.
The idea came up in a conversation yesterday with my good friend, Jenny Rayner. We are both grandparents, and are experiencing anew the persistence children manifest when they really, really want something. Our grandchildren just don't take 'No!' seriously, they just don't take 'No!' for an answer.
How many exasperated parents have said things like, "No means no!" or "Don't you understand the meaning of 'No!'?"
The answer is simple, parents, it's, "No!" As parents it takes years of negative conditioning to get the negative power of 'No!' through to children! We have to be taught the power of 'No!' - it doesn't come naturally. But when we finally get the message, it sticks for ever.
You still have that inner child who knows how to be resilient and persistent. Your inner child still doesn't know the meaning of the word 'No!' Let's make friends with our inner child.
At an emotional level, young children 'discount' their encounters with 'No!' Essentially, they don't hear it, or at least ignore it as irrelevant. This reflects the brain's own trouble with understanding the negative. Try not to think about something - like fresh coffee now!
Returning to the maths, they apply a negative to a negative - they say, "No!" to 'No!'
How different this is to adults. We count the number of 'No!' responses we get - allowing them to stack up and overwhelm. Essentially we say, "Yes!" to 'No!' Let's try a better strategy:
Jesus said to his adult learners that they needed to receive His Kingdom "like a little child" - they had to model childlike behaviours. 'Childlike' not 'childish'. In fact, He declared that unless they received the Kingdom like a little child, they couldn't enter into it.
You and I can do this. We can consciously negate the negative. If the result we are getting is not what we are wanting, we can discount the negative response and press on into victory. And if you value the practice of reflective listening, use it. Everytime someone says, "No!" to you in a conversation, repeat it back to them! This isn't for their benefit (though it might be fun to watch their reaction!) It is for you to remember to say, "No!" to 'No!'
Ready, Steady, No!
In fact 'no' is an anagram of 'on'!
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