When we speak of “bad” words, we generally mean swear words and/or “four-letter” words. There are other words, however, which are very important to have in your vocabulary, and on a deeper level are often considered “bad”–or, at the very least, not okay. For instance, what do you feel when you hear your partener say, “No, I don’t want to”? There are three (3) words in that sentence, three very short words, which are very important.
When your partner uses the word “NO”, or you use the word “NO“, it does not mean that you or they are being stubborn or obstinate. It means that you’re both expressing yourselves. Both of you need to be encouraged to use it appropriately because as you get older there will be more and more occasions when you and/or your partner will want to say “NO”. Besides which, when you say “YES” when you really want to say “NO”, you will get angry at the person asking the question and you will be angry with yourself.
Another very powerful word is the one letter word “I”. When you speak in terms of “I”, you are expressing yourself and are also taking responsibility for what you say and do. It is your ego and you want to feel good about yourself. One of my daughters, while in Junior High School, once had to write a paper about herself without using the word “I”. I was outraged. “I” is related to self-esteem and a sense of individuality; something that should be encouraged in everyone. It is known that low self-esteem is one of the causes of emotional and behavioral problems.
The third important word in this sentence is “WANT”. We all want; it doesn’t matter what it is–whether it is a new car, good health, high grades, etc. We all WANT. It is critical that you learn to express your “wants”. You may not always get what you want, very few people do, and being able to say what you want without being put down or demeaned for it is vital to your well-being.
So you see, the sentence, “No, I don’t want to”, has more meaning than just the words in it. Accepting these words from someone, not necessarily agreeing with them, can help build a sense of self-esteem and self worth; can let you take responsibility; can let you know that it is okay to want something even though you may not get it; and can instill feelings of being worthwhile human beings.
In relationships, it is not unusual to have misunderstandings and miscommunication with a partner, especially when expressing your needs and wants. I would love to help you explore these issues. Please feel free to contact me at 415-474-6707 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.