by The Urban Blabbermouth~
Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world, is reputed to have said that successful people say NO to everything. Maybe so but that is probably because everyone is asking something from them. But the rest of us are not wealthy enough to afford to say NO.
I have trouble saying NO to people. Many of us do and for good reason. It’s not that we are weak, or easy pushovers, it's that we have learned through our genes and from our parents’ teachings to be agreeable and to cooperate.
We as people cannot do everything ourselves, so we must cooperate with other folks. You can succeed in life but you need other people to help you do it. If you do not cooperate, other folks will not cooperate with you. If you say NO, then other folks have the right to say NO to you too. That is what scares us so much and makes us reluctant to say NO. In my post, The Joys of Selfishness, (a selfish plug) I say act selfishly. It’s in your selfish interest to say yes and do it as much as possible.
That means saying yes to many things. We have learned to cooperate for our own survival. You cannot make a cell phone on your own, grow your food, make electricity, or build your new car all at the same time. The world is full of many bad and dangerous things. There are many animals that can easily hunt you down and eat you. You rely on others to guard you while you sleep. You also rely on others to take care of you when you are sick. You are expected to return the favor when needed.
If you are asked a favor, pressure is there to say yes. If you say NO then when you want a favor you can be refused. Favors create a social obligation that ties you to the other person. You owe them and they owe you. This is a good thing as you can rely on your neighbor to help when needed. We all do better by cooperation. Those who do cooperate get to live, have children, and pass on a “cooperation gene" to the next generation.
Now we do make finer distinctions about using NO. There are times when NO is right. The rules are thus: When there is money involved, the favor then becomes a commercial transaction. That is, if someone is selling you something, you are permitted to refuse to buy, to say NO. Another is, well, intimate matters. You do not have to love a person even if you are asked. That would include any physical activity. It is offensive to have to give up your heart or your body if you do not want to do so.
If you want to say NO to everything and everyone, you have to make sure that you are in a position that others cannot refuse you because you refused them. Becoming the world’s wealthiest person, like Warren Buffet, is not enough. Even the successful people are careful of the NOs spoken to friends and family. There is only one way, run for Dictator. Dictators get their way all the time, at least until the palace coup.