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I’m grateful for my wife, most days. But yesterday was different.

We were having a good conversation, filled with emotion, and she had to go and ask a question of me I didn’t want to answer. What’s worse, it’s a question I’ve learned to ask her over the years.

What was the question?

Are you answering “no” for them without ever asking?

Do you ever do this? Do you have a conversation in your head with another person where you either a) ask them for something or b) share something, and then because of the imaginary conversation decide not to move forward?

“They’ll only say no.”

“What’s the point? They’re not going to listen.”

“What good will it do? Why should I even try?”

These imaginary conversations make no sense to me, until I do it myself. Because I know everyone’s heart. I know exactly how everyone will react or respond. I know what will happen before it happens, because I’m smarter than everyone else. Or maybe not.

When we answer no for someone else, we are robbing them of the opportunity to surprise us and say yes. What’s more, we are robbing ourselves of the growth that comes from the exchange. There’s something humbling in asking for help or sharing thoughts, and who can’t benefit from a little extra humility now and then?

So, who are you answering “no” for, without ever asking the question? What imaginary conversations do you need to stop having? What are you waiting for?


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