Hearing the YES in the NO

Every no, no matter what, has a yes in it. “No I don’t want to help you with that project.” May be “Yes, I want to make sure I get my project done on time.” “No, I don’t want to join you tonight.” May be “Yes, I want to relax and refresh myself with some alone time.” “NoI don’t want to eat that.” may be “Yes I want to have more choice and power in my life.”


Close your eyes for a moment and remember a time you said No to someone’s request? Call the complete experience into your body. What did it feel like? What physical sensations do you feel? Where do you feel them? Write a description of the situation in your journal.


Ask yourself. What needs of yours were you attending to when you said no? Write those needs down.


Now ask yourself. What needs did you let go of when you said no? Write those down. For example, Imagine I am asked by a co-worker to help on a project. I decide to say no so that I can continue working on another project I have committed to completing by a certain date. I may fear that sayin no will threaten my needs to support, to be valued, and to belong. But I am decided to let of using a yes as a strategy to secure those needs, and instead to focus on using no as a strategy to meet my needs for efficiency, effectiveness and integrity.


Now let's look at what it’s like to receive a No.


"Empathizing with someone’s ‘no’ protects us from taking it personally." Marshall Rosenberg


Just as you are attending to needs when you say no When someone says no to you, it’s not personal. They are not saying you and what matters to you doesn’t matter. - they are saying no because they have a need of their own they are attending to and you have the opportunity to connect with them by wondering…

What could that need be?


Think of a time someone said NO to a request you made. Write it down in your journal.

Now ask yourself. What needs might they have being saying yes to? Look at your list of needs and write any needs which come to you.


Saying no AND hearing no can be a strain and stress on the body and the heart. It’s helpful to mourn and celebrate. Take a moment to revisit the time you said no to someone else. Take a breath to Celebrate the need or needs you said yes to. Now connect with what you said no to - or the fear you experienced by saying no. Take a moment and mourn any needs you were not able to meet in that situation.


Repeat this exercise This time use the example from when someone said no to you. Celebrate the needs they may have said YES to. Mourn the needs they may have said NO to.


How can you use what you worked with in this lesson to connect yourself more fully to yourself and others when you receive their requests?


Todays challenge is to Make at least 3 requests today.

If you receive a no - ask yourself,..

"what might the person BE feeling when they say NO. "What needs might they be saying yes to?"


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