Every time you say “yes” this week think about whether you really mean it. Will you follow through and do everything you have said yes to, or could your “yes” really be a “crooked no”?
My friend and mentor, Jean Illsley Clarke, talks about crooked no’s in her books. Crooked no’s are the things you do and say that make it seem like you are saying “yes’ when you are really saying “no.” Making excuses when asked to do something, being late, forgetting things, ignoring people and requests, or even becoming sick can all be examples of “crooked no’s.” Also, responses like “maybe” or “later” can be crooked “no’s.”
Think about how much you are using crooked no’s. Decide whether you want to use them less. If so, use your new understanding about crooked no’s to be more direct about saying no when you should and more reliable (mean what you say) when you do say yes.
If the children you care about are old enough, share what you have learned about “crooked no’s.” Begin pointing out to them when they are using crooked no’s and pushing them for a direct yes or no response.