Gratitude for others' "no"? Benefits of making it easy for others to say no.
I deeply believe in focusing on the one thing that leads to success (quote from my friend John Lee Dumas). I’ve had multiple casts about the power of saying no. Saying "no" by guarding the best time of the day for producing your own results. Saying no to “friends” and people who do not behave in alignment to your values. Saying no early is so important, otherwise, we risk feelings like anger come out that can risk damaging our relationships. Anger is a wonderful boundary-setting skill, but if we push our anger on others instead of owning our anger to ourselves, and using it to establish or often re-establish a boundary to a healthy line, we risk pushing people away from us.
In comparison to saying no early, when we shouldn’t have to be angry, the other party wouldn't have to be invested so much into what we’re blocking/stopping.
Feeling and showing gratitude for others' no though, is sometimes at a cost for our own wish. Perhaps we wanted their company, or their help getting to some results or enabling some effect that would help us both. Either way, even if we’re not happy with the results, we still benefit from thanking them for their clear boundary-setting skills. Just like when we have to accept other people but can separate them from a result or separate their behavior from feelings, we can also here separate our wishes or dreams from what we want. I’m not saying we should ALWAYS accept a no, just consider the possibility of why they say no, and also encourage their aim to protect whatever they wanted to achieve.
By viewing the worldview from their perspective. Saluting them for focusing on getting what they value done, we rejoice in their path, happy for their sake in that they’re making progress.
It’s my experience in helping them towards their goal, is most often the best way to make others boomerang back to us, feeling free to help us towards our goals in whatever capacity they have.
I’d also like to add that in knowing they can clearly say “no” to our requests will make their "yes" so much more trust-worthy. Play and work get so much better when we can trust that a clear YES to actually mean a resounding yes when it does.
So encourage those around you to say no when they mean it and when they need it. And you’ll free them to be more direct in helping you both get progress. Helping you both in the long run.
Everything is feedback. Listen to what that no “does” to you. What can you learn there? That it’s more important to have it your way than to be effective? That perhaps you asked a bit too late, leaving no margins? There is always a lesson to be learned from everything in life. When you listen to that lesson, separating behavior from the individual, distancing yourself just for a second from what you're feeling, like in this case perhaps “hurt”- you’ll be able to open your eyes to a whole other level of feedback from everything.
Most of us feel a bit guilty when saying no. By embracing this practice (when we honestly can mean it) you will make it easier for them to be honest in their communication with you. You will make it easier for them to do the work that matters. My experience is... If we help others have an impact on what matters to them... They’ll most often boomerang back to us with time for what’s important to us.
I also think something happens to us when we embrace this worldview. We embrace reality for what it really is. There is ALWAYS another way to our results. Getting the "no" faster is saving us time to figure out another way there. Making a big difference if we buckle up again for another go in another direction instead of waiting for that no to transform into a yes.
A healthy "no" is important to free our time to focus on doing the work that matters, just as it is important as getting to a "yes" in embracing reality.