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The Power of 'No' - a resilience guide for sensitives

The Power Of ‘No’

A resilience guide for Sensitives


Open-minded peers, let me twitter a love song on the beauty of strengthening personal integrity by resilience.

Especially for sensitives with open wide big hearts it seems so hard to find a way to clearly say ‘No’ to inadequate things. Things that just do not feel ‘right’. One crucial factor for sure is that we live in a modern world of daily decision attack. We are asked by bosses, systems, institutions, processes to decide a million things without even having the choice of not deciding any more, it seems. This increasingly enforced decision bombardment heavily pollutes mental motherboards. That is what irritates more and more people. So how could you actively make  space to say ‘Yes’ to things that truly matter to you and others? Or possibly find out what your full-hearted ‘Yes’ instead could be? In a world that at times just clumsily rolls over you.

Let me in the following explain that a ‘No’ is NOT A REAL weapon used against or by you. Too many just perceive it this harsh way nowadays. That is why it is more and more avoided and watered down in political correctness. At the same time quite so often it happens today a ‘No’ is reflexively thrown at you without thinking – just to get rid of accumulated pressure better not to make any consciously committed decision. Which is a truly harmful effect in any loyalty based personal interaction – but quite so often sad reality. I have experienced that many times myself, suffered and only then looked for a different way to deal with it.

On the other hand, if learned how to use wisely and pro-actively by yourself, it can certainly be an excellent tool to define your own integrity within a group. Not a one stop goal though, expressed integrity needs to be rehearsed over and over again to become part of your grown-up portfolio. In clear contrary to the common assumption for it to be a sword for exclusion, it is as such a far better tool for inclusion as it can bring essential clarity to everyone. It does make it crystal-clear how you need to be treated and gives you space to act trustworthy in parallel. The clue unfolds when you detach from the need to depend on any other’s reaction to it. If not clearly expressed, others might most likely have to double-guess by making assumptions a lot. So do not ask for permission to show it, or expect them to just smell what you need.

Also, I observe from a more general perspective, that respectful reflection with a caring co-operative attitude in mind is not how most modern societies interact. Aggressive ego prevails in most environments, that is why it is very important for sensitives to learn how to set healthy but assertive boundaries.

And why it is so important that they find their very own way of doing so.

Do no harm but take no shit.

A wise use of the power of ‘No’ is tenderly declared to be the propulsive power of personal integrity. Integer truth that freely initiates from inside you. All ready to deftly flap over lips into the world to be heard. Not necessarily accepted but certainly heard. Your own momentum’s truth. Such a beautiful thing. And more than sufficiently valid to be expressed, just like everyone else’s.

How many times that lovely sound of a clear ‘No’ went stuck in our throats? How many ‘No’s remain tethered inside all of us?

It is this underlying toxic drift of better strangling that poor ‘No’ to remain stuck in our throats. Strangled by a feeling which we ALL so naturally share and no one likes to talk about openly: Fear. That fear to honestly express what you really want, feel or have to say. The fear to be judged. Or this nasty fear of receiving a clear ‘No’ from others. The more you suppress it either or, the more the reasons become even more kindling obtrusively this fearful shadow-over-reaction. If the stuck ‘No’ is not freed it may become a massive emotional monster over time. And if this ‘monster’ is felt or not so clearly felt, that is depending on one’s conditioned tolerance towards drilled hardship. In unreflected copy and paste effect we set forth what we saw when we were young. What unspoken comes with it in modern society is a crawling decision phlegm for things that matter, and a stressful overload in line with the tendency to waste energy on all other meaningless things that may most likely not truly matter.

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people. (Spencer Johnson)

In general, two essential human accountability conducts I feel we tend to have forgotten in a world that “praises” bow and scrape common sense superficiality over organically built trust.

Let us face it, the clearer we are, the clearer we are able to express. Alike sponges, however, as empaths we are naturally bombarded by emotional fog from outside. And somehow we have to deal with that on more aware level. This awareness can drastically simplify our external relations. The more we are aware of that ourselves, it means one person less being gaslighted (for explanation click here) by unexpressed indecisiveness and insecurity. And then there are the ones who have become masters in putting all emphasis on dysfunctions in others, the blamers, at the same time totally unaware themselves that this means projecting mostly own fears onto a particular ‘them’.

There is a point where it usually gets nasty when this unconscious half-hearted nodding starts: A spiral dynamics of hidden agendas inside minds is triggered and inevitably leads to any form of drama. Either it will cause personal unhappiness or external conflict when further simmering underground. Destructive drama, in fact, which boosts explosive hurt and fight in interpersonal dynamics. In any case it comes to the surface one day, and this happens in which form whatsoever triggered by whoever, let us just be certain it will.

In essence a ‘No’ is pure expressive vitality. That, in case not freely expressed at an early stage, “works” repressive against one-self and/or in most cases is just reactively projected outside, on situations, people, institutions, politics, whatever. The dysfunctional consensus attitude in most partnerships, collectives, groups, societies still is however: The fault is always on the other side, and the grass there also greener (blame and greed). We may all well know the type of story being told then. Lullaby stories far from the real core and not constructive either. Behind that works the activated fear to be openly clear by not daring to express aloud a certain standpoint of possible contradiction. It all just is psychically masked. And the surface behaviour view in which still most believe to be “reality”.

But, reality also is:

BULB 1: A ‘No’ always is a viable option.

At times, I had found myself many times nodding despite the fact that my gut felt immediately sore. In situations of minor “relevance” or mayor “impact” but in fact every time I ruled over my inner compass, the gut, and it became stiller and stiller. A panicking fearful sensation let me hear saying “Yes” when however, being really and truly honest with myself, I just wanted to literally scream out “No”. Mostly the point where I had ignored listening to it for quite too long. Too often it happened for upfront inner assumed reasoning only, and more important, I was not trained to scrutinise all of it thoroughly. Either I felt strangely urged due to a blackmail time factor, or due to a perception based feeling of pressure that derived from the assumption of “having to share” a single-minded view-point of a community, partnership, relationship.

All too often without any realistic reflection on what the consequences really were if I decided differently. So it made me focus major parts of my attention on the pressure and how to most quickly get rid of it. By mainly looking over the fence for resolution, the more obvious option for a simple veto was completely pushed aside into my emotional shade. So, yes, it truly happened more than once. Triggered in reactive, unaware reflection of my environment which clearly expected nodding when it would have been the best time to stand up and say it: “No”. A simple and clear ‘No’. And here comes the fear part: No matter what others think, no matter how they would react. Even possibly in the face of indignation.

The inner protection emotional safeguard, resilience, appears only at a certain point when you are fed up swelling and mentally face what you think would “kill” you. And be assured, whatever indignation you think there might happen, it does NOT kill. Neither you, not others, it just is for a given moment. And by experience I can say, it is really just a matter of time for the initial “storm” to calm. As soon as you realise it is so, you no longer give into a vague fear, and resilience can then settle deeply within you step by step.

BULB 2: Rotten compromises in whatever form harm our and others integrity.

Rotten compromises, or these hidden states of an inside wobbling ‘No’, mostly harm trust principles as you start to betray yourself – and others – in a state of unconscious victimhood that strengthens the illusion so that you feel pretty much more a victim every time it happens. A victim to any other’s opinion, belief, or expectation which you are truly not. No one is. Huuh, shocking it may sound, but please, think about it for a moment. Let it freely resonate. Yes, often it may be the easier way of just giving in, the comfy “common” sense fake-harmony road, but in fact then at the same time it is energetically the way of least resistance for others, too. So you keep swallowing backwards your very own signals that are sparked from the inner compass – probably leading to the point of inner emotional sourness. Let me gently tease a bit on rhetorics here: “Is there any more reliable source for personal decision-making than an inner compass guided by the natural attitude of ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’?”

One of the meanings for example a ‘No’ can also have is “No, not now”. If we dare and leave behind a black and white overly judgemental world view for a moment. A small but powerful amendment of gentleness towards you and others it is. At the same time seen from another perspective, with it you are truly taking back your power by putting emphasis, attention and time to make a decision that you can truly commit to. In best case it is truthfully expressed aloud, and followed by a thorough decision making process later. Close the process with a clearly expressed statement. This easily strenghtens a form of integer credibility that organically grew from inside you.

What I became aware of is that mostly highly sensitive people, the one’s who can feel into groups or partnership dynamics naturally, by dysfunctional conditioning pattern tend to routinely nod for an illusionary sense of harmony or personal safety. They nod even more in the direction of the most intense pressure. May it be financially-tangible, like hierarchical group pressure at work, or emotionally-intangible in partnerships, friendships, family-ships, or any kind of intimate relationship.

Until the inner pressure may exponentially rise to unbearable tension. But what it does then, is searches its own destructive ways for any kind of liberation – in or outside by anger, cynicism, self-sabotage, icing emotionally, jealousy, hate, whatever most likely accumulated frustration there can be. Or turns up in form of psychosomatic physical trouble. You can never run from your own emotions, and ignoring them is running from yourself as fast as Speedy Gonzales.

The more I exchange with sensitive souls who way too often so much struggle defending their healthy boundaries it literally ties up my heart. Dears out there, let me confirm, an early enough ‘No’ can easily be revealed into a firm “Yes” or any form of fruitful compromise later. Vice versa it may be way more difficult without losing self-credibility and trust. But in any case, the good news is, you decide when and what that point of solidifying a final standpoint is. Yes! You decide. Just, please, do not avoid to make any.

BULB 3: An honest ‘No’ gives alleviating heart space.

Time and space to reflect, sense, feel and get a clear overview for a decision. When you find yourself in inner conflict of a struggle between heart and head, a temporary ‘No’ allows space to withdraw for a certain, undefined time from any outside pressure. By certain trainable methods to contemplate on it, view it from left to right, up and down, but far more important than to get stuck in over-thinking is to allow yourself to freely sense into it. When finally in more de-compressed emotional mode, ask yourself: “How does it really feel? How does option 1 FEEL, how does option 2-5 (huh, look, all of a sudden there are more options coming!) FEEL?

‘No’. Such a short yet overly royal tool for gaining personal clarity. As such, maybe a long way sometimes to dare to express it fiercely and by it strengthen inner resources like integrity. Solid integrity that partners tenderly with resilience and courage. And we mostly tend to underestimate – as sensitives – what really is healthily necessary for ourselves. Why? Because often, in childhood, most sensitives did not have around suitable adult mirrors to be able to model a healthy mental frame for more delicate necessities. Or, in other cases, have not explored themselves freely in order to cultivate enough positive experiences for a healthy self-resilience which is utterly fundamental to standing up for one-self. No external source can give you this. It can not be read, studied or passed by multiple choice exam. You have to experience it on your own. No way around it there is.

The initial throat-stuck ‘No’ usually chokes when an essential ‘No’ in the past was on and on not respected, first not heard then not expressed, or in worst case simply ignored. But, hey, no need to open Pandora’s box and deep dive into childhood traumatic moments in order to try something new from today.

BULB 4: A truthful moment’s ‘No’ is worth more than a million half-hearted times ‘Yes'.

In fact it is more than that, it can be sprinkling gold from you to others. I am well aware, sometimes it can be quite tricky to get to the very point of what that ‘Yes’ could be when emotional signals pointing to the core of a problem are quite often well distorted. Coaching support in getting a broader, more systematic view on all influencing factors inside and outside then helps to realise what this point truly is for you.

Let me quickly summarize:

  1. It can be a simple ‘No’, a ‘No, not yet’ or simply a ‘No, no more’.
  2. Leading from there to the one and only commitment you can keep with a smiling heart, and others can rely on.
  3. By following through the entire process, personally grow into a rock-solid commitment to yourself and others.
  4. With expanded perspectives naturally thrive and flourish into sublime personal integrity.

Start clearing the table of those hidden agendas that you might fear. Best start with your own.

And remember well, in fact we all fear them at equal level, too. We are all equal humans in the same boat here, no matter how others may desperately try to pretend it is not so. At the very bottom core we all share the same desire to be fully accepted and respected.

The power of one or many clear ‘No’s will gradually unleash a truthful ‘Yes’.
That one ‘Yes’ that makes you immediately smile, curious, heavily energised.

And then you will find it way easier to walk the talk, and not only being walked. 😉


Please feel free to share this content with others but maintain the article’s integrity by copying it unaltered, and by including the author plus source website link: Nadia Oulhaj, Bulb Your Mind,

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