If I don't know how to respond to a situation today, why not try responding with kindness? Whether I accept or turn down a request, agree or disagree with someone's point of view, I can still treat the other person with respect and courtesy. I can say, "No," as gently and lovingly as I can say, "Yes".
Today I can honor my decisions without being defensive because I respect my right to make the best decision I can. Even when others are not happy with those decisions, I can behave in a way that feels good to me. Others might have a right to disagree, to feel differently, to be disappointed. I can respect that right and still stick to my principles.
Relationships are complicated because people are complicated. We each have our own ideas, values, and hopes, and they can't always coincide with the desires of those we love. Disagreements can be healthy and enlightening if we view them as a way to develop and deepen our relationships. Kindness and respect for everyone concerned will go a long way toward making this possible.
(Courage to Change - One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II)
Treading water in a hurricane