It’s only one word. It has just two letters, and it is a complete sentence. Although it is clear, it is frequently not spoken, even when it should be. The failure to communicate this word is the cause of many relationship problems, and the overuse of it is also the source of many difficulties. If you haven’t yet figured out the answer to this riddle, here’s another hint: It rhymes with show, foe, crow, and row. Yes. That’s right. It’s “No.”
So, how can the non-use, misuse, or overuse of such a small word result in so many relationship problems? And why is it that so many of us are afraid to speak it when we need to? Why is it that many of us don’t say “no” when we feel “no”?
To find answers to these questions, we need to look at what this word means in the context of relationships. “No” is a refusal to accept something that is being offered or requested. It affirms a boundary between ourselves and someone who is asking something from us. It means that we are unwilling to accommodate another’s implicit or explicit desires, which requires us to risk a reaction that could be unpleasant.