When I was a kid, in my neighborhood, we would play outside constantly. Yes, without supervision. Back when I was a kid, we actually were outside of our house without supervision for hours on end, and lived.
As it was, we would have our toys, bikes and other things and would be playing with them and inevitably, some kid would always want to borrow it, or play with it, or take it home.
What we always said when we were kids when we didn't want to share what we had was, "I would, but my Mom won't let me". It was a real safe statement that put the decision to not share on my mom, instead of on me. It made her the bad guy, and didn't put me in position of having to stand up for what I believed or what I wanted. It put it on my mom.
Its interesting. A lot of people still use this tactic today- not owning up to their own ideas or wants, but putting it on someone else.
It usually comes in different forms depending on where you live, work or interact with.
1. The teacher says no
2. The research suggests
3. My spouse said
4. The Boss doesn't want
5. This book I read said
All of those put a person in a position to not own what they think or believe.
Here's a thought- when you want to do something, or want to make a point, don't pepper it with any influence from which the thought came. Simply stand on your own two feet and make the declaration. Don't apologize, don't hide behind someone else. Don't be afraid to state your wants and needs without adding in some other influence that has nothing to do with what you truly want.
Example- in a church setting, people often say "God is leading me to..." when making a decision that will affect other people. In a lot of instances, it is my contention that people are doing what they want to do, and adding the "God" card to justify what they want to do anyway. It has nothing to do with a leading or a prompting, but everything to do with what they want anyway. Understand- I'm not saying that God doesn't lead or prompt. I am saying that there are times when people do what they want and add the God part after.
I guess they feel if they add in the God part it will ensure they are less likely to be challenged, or viewed in a negative light.
The ability to be truthful, while understanding that some people may not agree with what you are doing is an art form that is not easily learned. What you will find, is that when you begin to respond to people without a 'reason' or an 'excuse' you'll find that they respect you more, and you'll respect yourself more. Because you're owning what you say and do.
Everything doesn't have to always have a reason. You can, as the Bible says, let your yes be yes, and your no be no.