Are you able to graciously accept a “no”, or would you be cross and upset about it?

I find it hard to say no to a lot of the opportunities in my life. The big opportunities that are life-changing, I pray about and give some thought to before saying yes. But the little decisions here and there of being asked to do this and whether I’d like to do that, I often say yes to them.

The reason I don’t hesitate in my yes is because I’m curious and like to see where it will take me. The second reason is, I sometimes don’t want to let that person down by saying no.

This had me thinking. In the last couple of years, I have read posts and heard sermons on the need to say no for health and lifestyle reasons, and allowing space for something better to proceed.

But saying no doesn’t always get a positive reaction, hence my need to write how to react to no.

Accept It Graciously

How do you react when someone says no to you? You ask them to help out as a volunteer at an event and they say no? Do you respond in frustration and disappointment, or do you accept it with a smile and inwardly direct curses at them for being a selfish so-and-so?

I believe that while it’s important for us to know when to say no, it’s also important to accept a no from someone else, and to receive it positively. Easy said than done when you ask people to help, but they give unsolicited opinions on how something should be done.

control your reaction to a no

No is never easy to accept.

The quickest way to learn how to react positively to a no is to have children — ‘no’ is often the first word uttered from their mouths.

Of course, there are serious situations where a no is not acceptable, and that’s a tragedy because if you can’t accept a no when endangering someone’s life, your moral compass needs redirection and you’re isolating yourself from the awesome person you could be.

Saying no and accepting no are difficult, but in order to grow and to allow space for new things, they are essential to life.

Healthy Relationships

How we react to a no can leave a lasting memory on another person, so make it a good one by accepting it (even if it doesn’t help you) and don’t allow it to burn a bridge.

It may be a no now, but in a couple of months or the next year, it may turn into a yes, but there is no hope of that happening if you react negatively to the first no, or worse still, don’t accept it.

I think we’d all say no a lot more if we weren’t afraid of the people-pleasing aspect, which allows us to say yes to the right opportunities.

Do you find it hard to accept a no when you’ve asked someone to help you? Have you ever reflected on your own response when someone has let you down?


Originally published at The Plumbette. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.

About the Author: Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night, but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters whom she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award-winning plumber, she also writes an award-winning blog called The Plumbette, where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec, believing a girl can be both practical and stylish.

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