“The key to fostering connection in the face of a ‘no’ is always hearing ‘yes’ to something else and, as such, it is the beginning, not the end of a conversation. Hear the ‘Yes’ behind the ‘No.'” – Marshall Rosenberg
When we remember that needs are distinct from strategies, and that everything we do is a strategy to speak to a need, we can then translate someone’s “no” into “that is not a strategy that is in harmony with my needs right now” rather than receiving a “no” to our needs.
If we then also remember that whenever someone is saying “no” they are saying “yes” to something else, we create pathways of curiosity, exploration, compassionate understanding, and connection that honors needs in mutually beneficial ways.