I recently began to say something to people that usually isn’t my normal response. It’s good to try new words and approaches in order to constantly be refining our communication. And one phrase that we say regularly in our culture is bothersome: “No worries.”
“Hey, no worries that you’ll be late.” “No worries that you got something wrong.” “No worries that [fill in the blank]…”
This is bothersome because it says a few things: the other person indeed had reason to worry; the speaker has appointed themself into a position to absolve the person of their need to worry; and it brings the energy of worry into the person’s consciousness. We don’t need to see that word or feel that emotion if it does not actually belong.
Yet it’s such a common statement that we don’t often seek a substitute. So I personally wanted to find a substitute.
As I began trying to replace that statement, I noticed that one situation with people kept happening: People would say they’d reply to me, or meet with me, or be available for me–but only after a certain length of time had passed. So instead of replying with the usual “no worries” I tried something else. And as I said these new words, I realized that it was somewhat difficult to say them and mean them. They invoked a bit of fear in me. But for the sake of the other person, I knew that they were right. And so I said, “Take your time.”
What simple words. Yet they hold so much power when said genuinely.
What these words do is let the other person be free to respond whenever it is right for them. With no restrictions on that length of time. And no expectations from us. None.
You can almost feel the sigh of relief from the other person when you truly tell them to take their time and they know you’ll uphold your statement.
Why is this important? Well, our world is so rushed. It is so busy. There are so many expectations on any one person. We have enough stress floating around that we need not add to it by dismissing someone with “no worries” or announcing our frustration with “hurry up.” Rather, we can choose to do the opposite: we can set people free from our control and our expectations and tell them to take their time. However much they need.
And we ourselves need to be okay with that.
We need to drop the reins of control when it comes to this person or this situation. And breathe. And move forward with our own time, while letting them have theirs. We have to ultimately be okay with the idea that we might never get a reply from the person. That has to be okay. That takes effort.
But there is much power in those three words; for both sides of the conversation. So if we can do the inner work necessary to be able to genuinely say “take your time,” then we may feel that we ourselves are more free and happy as a result.
Try it sometime. You might like it.
Was this information useful? Say thanks with a small donation.