Two things come to my mind when I read the title “When No Means Yes”. The first is a question: Do I follow through when I say no? ⁣

Does my no mean no to the other person, or do people understand my no, if they persist, to be more of a yes in the making? I’ve been in this place many times in my life.⁣

How do you think it works out, saying no but being understood by others that it is really a yes?⁣

In these situations I often found I resented the thing I was participating in or doing. More importantly I resented the person who I said no to, but then behaved as though I said yes. Can you relate?⁣

Who’s problem is it, mine or the other person’s?⁣

Obviously it is mine. When my no means yes to someone else I have given away my power in the situation. It is a result of a lack of having boundaries, or lack of clarity of my boundaries, or lack of enforcement of my boundaries. ⁣

When I am clear about what I will and will not do in a given situation, it is much easier for me to say no to others. Boundaries help me understand why saying no is important.⁣

Often times choosing no makes it better for me to deal with something in my life. When I am dealing better with things in my life, everyone around me benefits.⁣

But let’s be real, sometimes we can be asked for something, or asked to do something that we haven’t had time to think about or evaluate. What do you do then?⁣

I have found a simple reply of “Let me get back with you.” allows me the pause I need to get clear about what is being asked of me. I have time to understand if I can do it, if I want to do it, and understand where my boundary is in the given situation.⁣

The second thing that comes to mind when I read “When No Means Yes” is how saying no to someone else is saying yes to myself. How important is that? Do you think of it this way? ⁣

I believe most of us want to be helpful to others. To varying degrees we may want to be viewed as a “nice” guy. How many times, however, have you said yes to someone and it is a detriment to you in some way? ⁣

Maybe it was attending a gathering you didn’t believe in, or taking time to help when you didn’t have the time to give, or doing a myriad of other things that worked to your detriment in some way. Where are your boundaries in these situations? ⁣

For many years I believed saying yes was helpful, and the “right” thing to do. What became apparent through some hard self-reflection and inner-work was that many times when I said yes to someone else I was saying no to me. Isn’t that interesting. It was easier to say no to myself than others. Don’t I deserve yeses in my life? Don’t you?⁣

Saying yes to myself is something positive. It has value and impact not only on me but what I can then contribute to those around me. Having clear boundaries helps me more easily say yes to myself. In this way I can better serve others because I am choosing where my time and energy can best be spent. ⁣

In your life, how often are you saying yes to yourself? What is the impact on you and those around you?⁣

Author: Todd Gorishek

Todd is a certified Men’s Life Coach, an entrepreneur, a licensed healthcare professional, a husband, a father, and a world traveler. His mission is to co-create a strong and compassionate world by facilitating transformation through understanding, trust, and empowerment. He received his professional Life Coaching education from Newfield Network, a certified Life Coach training school, and is a member of the International Coach Federation.