I Don’t Like It

While on a trail run recently, I ran past loads of people with dogs.

Most people had their dogs on leash, as required by law, and most of those that didn’t, held their dogs as I ran past.

I appreciate that so much.

One thing I’ve learned from running the last couple of years is that dogs don’t always react the same way to someone running by as they would to someone walking by. It can be scary.

There was an exception.

As I ran up behind a man hiking with two dogs off leash, I asked if they would be okay if I passed them. I really wanted to ask him to hold them, which I’ve done in certain situations in the past, but felt bad about it this time. So, I went with the less confrontational question.

He turned around and looked at me like I was a little crazy for asking, and said, “oh sure.”

So, I kept going. The dogs looked up at me as I passed, and went back to their sniffing. Then I heard one running, and felt him on my heels.

I stopped.

“He’s just following you!” yelled the man.

Without thinking, I yelled back, “I don’t like it.”

Four simple words.

I. Don’t. Like. It.

Four words, just eleven letters. But boy did they feel huge.

I had to fight an immediate urge to explain myself, to soften the statement.

I didn’t.

I let those four words echo through the trees. I don’t like it. And I realized that was reason enough.

What about you?

Are you comfortable making a simple statement without including a lot of explanation? Do you have a go to phrase that allows you to take care of yourself? Please share your thoughts here in the comments, or on Facebook.


2 comments to I Don’t Like It

  • This inspires to do this more often. It’s simple, elegant and direct. It should not hurt anyone’s feelings either. I am sharing this with my wife as I think it can be of immediate use (not on her, of course)

  • It’s such a simple thing, but wow, I remain surprised at the power of it. I’d love to hear what your wife thinks. Now you have me thinking about how freeing it would be in a relationship to be able to say (and hear) I don’t like it, and let it be okay. Good stuff to think about and play with.

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