Avoid Answering No for Someone Else

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I don’t know if you’re like me, but rejection is a terrible thing. Working up the courage to ask someone for help can be exhausting, and it’s only made worse when they say no. But there is something that hurts more than asking and being told no: never asking.

Because I fear rejection, often times I catch myself trying to reason my way out of asking someone for help. “They are not going to have time” or “They wouldn’t want to do that” becomes the refrain I tell myself.

The reality, however, is I will never know how someone will respond especially if I never ask. If I tell myself “they will say no, so why bother”, then their answer will always be no.

But, when I ask, they now have the opportunity to say yes. And who knows, I could get surprised.

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Learning to Trust

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My youngest daughter broke her leg in January. She spent 5 weeks in a cast. Now she has the cast off, and for the last two weeks she has been retraining her leg muscles, and her brain, to walk the right way.

More than the physical training, though, it’s been interesting to watch as she redevelops trust in her leg. For all of her life, or as long as she could remember, her leg worked the way it was supposed to work. If she walked, it held her up. If she ran, it helped. But then, one day, she jumped and her leg did not do what it was supposed to do–it broke.

Right after the cast came off, she was scared to put her foot on the ground, undoubtedly remembering the terrible pain of the break. Slowly she began to realize her leg was going to work. It’s been slow, but everyday there’s a little more progress.

Trust in relationships works the same way. Many of us have friendships where we can trust the other person, until that trust is broken. Once trust is broken, the recovery takes time.

Some of us have experienced enough broken trust to be wary of trusting anyone, and so the healing takes even longer.

As a leader, one of our roles is establishing and maintaining trust. Because we are human, and because we work with other human, sometimes that trust will be broken. When that happens, make an effort to rebuild the trust, understanding it will take time.

 

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