How To Learn To Accept ‘no’ As An Answer

How to learn to accept 'no' as an answer

There are thousands of texts that revolve around the word ‘no’. It is therefore an important topic. And while you have to deny yourself from time to time in order to develop discipline, it is equally essential to learn how to accept a ‘no’ from others. Of course some ‘no’s’ are very hard to accept, but everyone has to deal with them. In fact, such at first sight annoying ‘swallow’ moments offer the perfect opportunity for personal growth.

To appreciate the value of being receptive to negative reactions, consider  what would happen if everyone said “yes” to you all the time. Imagine a child whose wishes would be fulfilled without exception. Would it not suffer greatly from its own insecure, irascible and stubborn nature? Could someone like that really appreciate anything at all? Exactly the same is essentially true for an adult, for anyone.

Most people probably fondly remember those instances where a ‘no’ eventually turned into a ‘yes’. And mainly thanks to their own effort. Overcoming obstacles, fighting for what you want to get done is very satisfying. However, the limits of reason do not limit our freedom, but rather protect our mental health and development. More often than not, it behooves us to be thankful for negative reactions.

Being confronted with a limit motivates us to overcome it. Difficulties stimulate our intellectual potential and our emotional ingenuity. They allow us to transcend ourselves and discover who we are and what we are capable of. They help us develop self-confidence and find our place in the world.

The many benefits of hearing the word ‘no’

Deep down, no one likes to take ‘no’ for an answer, especially if what you are denied is very important to you. If someone else wants to end a relationship with you, it can be devastating. Not being selected for your dream job, not being able to travel to your ultimate vacation destination or not qualifying for the student loan you so desperately need are all rejections that hurt a lot.

Woman with Bird

As unpleasant as it is to hear ‘no’, it can really benefit you enormously because:

  • It helps you recognize and accept other people’s views. Begin to realize more and more that a negative reaction is rarely a condemnation of you as a person. It simply means that the person has a different view of things.
  • It encourages you to re-evaluate your goals. It offers you the perfect opportunity to weigh the importance of exactly what you are trying to achieve. You may be adjusting your priorities or even adjusting your ambition.
  • It points you to your delusions and obsessions. If you keep being told ‘no’, that may be a sign that you are not ready for something (yet). Are you possibly stuck in your own obstinacy?
  • It stimulates your imagination and performance. If it is something you really must and will achieve, which you want in all your fiber, this can prompt you to greater and more creative deeds.

Getting over a ‘no’

The best stories about yourself, and your best attributes, once started—quite often—with the word “no.” But so are your worst memories. Remember, as always, it’s not so much about what happened, but rather  how you dealt with it. Receiving a negative response can show your true nature unadorned.

Man with Tigers

Initially, a ‘no’ takes people out of their comfort zone. It acts as a breaking point, with the undisguised message: your free passage is being impeded. And your response to that can be unexpected, depending on the type of person you are and how important what you’re being denied is to you. A tantrum immediately shows immaturity. However, if you trust yourself fully, you will take on this challenge with your head held high.

The first step in overcoming a ‘no’ is acceptance. And accepting means understanding that an employer, partner, the financial system, or anyone else has the right to deny you anything. That’s a legitimate option. No one can claim things for themselves merely by their ardent desire or by who they happen to be.

Woman with Head Back

The second step is to reflect on your most intimate wishes. Is what you want and what you stand for, really that important? What is the underlying message underlying these negative reactions? Does it mean you’re not capable enough, can’t withstand the pressure, or even end up on the wrong path? Does it mean that you are not sufficiently recognized or that you have misjudged the situation? The answer to these and similar questions will take you to the next level sooner or later.

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