I Didn’t Say No And It Got Me A No

Can you say no when you mean no? If you don't you might feel worse later.
Can you say no when you mean no? If you don’t you might feel worse later.

Last week I had a one-time consultation call with a company to talk about a website upgrade.

I had taken a little free course the company offered to review some tweaks I was interested in adding to my own website.

The consult call was scheduled for one hour, and I knew it was basically a meeting to see if their service was right for me, and could potentially involve…..


As in, someone pitching me their thing.

Maybe this service would help save me a bunch of time making all the changes myself.

I had many technical questions.

But we had to wait to get to those because when the person called at the appointed hour, he asked me questions like “how would it feel if you had your website totally upgraded and handled?” and “if you could wave a magic wand, what would you want your website to do?”

Well, I already know I’ll feel satisfied and pleased when these changes are made.


I wasn’t in a position of needing to be convinced about fixing my website. I love beautiful websites, I enjoy being creative with technology, I like all the new stuff being invented constantly.

I know people get confused about where to find stuff on mine.

We hung up, not complete yet with the conversation because I had a few more questions. We made an appointment to continue the following day.

Which is when a moment arrived.

Yes. A situation.

After getting a lot of my questions answered….I realized his service wasn’t a good deal for me.

I said “thank you for all your information, and I’m not going to sign up with you right now.”

He said “WHAT? I’m really concerned! You mean you’re going to keep sitting there without making any progress on your website, or your business?”

Wait. Was he insulting me?


He’s concerned?

I suddenly felt like I was running off the car dealership lot with the car salesman saying “I’m concerned, I’m really concerned!” as I DON’T buy a car.

What a faker!

Sigh. I had my concept for inquiry.

“He wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

Is that true?

Well, no. He backed off, he wasn’t happy, he applied all the pressure he could, he repeated how terrible this would be if I said no….

….but then he said I could call him again any time if I changed my mind.

How did I react when I began to believe he wouldn’t take no for an answer?

Angry. I could feel the heat rise from inside my gut, up my throat, into my face. I looked at my watch, I wanted to hang up. I felt like I was talking to an enemy on the phone.


I imagined writing him an email pointing out what a jerk he was and how he came across all sweet and supportive at the beginning but that was fake.

Who would I be without the belief that he wouldn’t take no for an answer?

Deep breath. I’d relax. I’d notice how there are no emergencies. I’m safe in this moment, all is well.

I would tell him there are several things that don’t serve my needs about their services.

I’d hang up if I needed to. I don’t have to stay in the conversation.

I turned the thought around: he would take no for an answer.

Well, first of all, he’s just a man on the phone in another time zone. How could he possibly NOT take no for an answer?

What am I even talking about?

Must I demand that everyone be “nice” and easy-going, cordial, detached and never pressuring me?

How about another turnaround: I wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I didn’t stop him 5 minutes into the original conversation and say “I don’t really want to have a coaching/sales conversation, I basically have a few technical questions to run by you, then I can decide yes/no for this website service thing, ok?”

I didn’t interrupt him when I thought the initial conversation was winding and dragging in other directions.

Who wasted everyone’s time?


He was doing his job. He probably had a script, and was following what he knew to do.

I was the one who didn’t say no the minute I felt a “no”.

This is not a new experience. I’ve done this before, hoping that if I say “yes” it will be easy, smooth, non-confrontive, and I’ll avoid someone being disappointed or wanting to pressure me further.

I wouldn’t take no for an answer, from myself, or from him.

Yikes, so true.

I wind up often thinking “yes” is better than “no”. I want to dream of yes, not no. I like the idea of yes, yes, yes. It sounds fun, thrilling, like flying, or hang-it-all-do-whatever-you-want!


But, wait. No is good, too, on planet earth, you say?


What if I celebrated NO just as much as YES and welcomed the deep, powerful, empty, unknown consequences of NO.

“There was an exhausted woodcutter who kept wasting time and energy chopping wood with a blunt ax because he did not have the time, he said, to stop and sharpen the blade.” ~ Anthony DeMello

In those recent exchanges, where I judged Mr. Website Coach Salesman as salesy and pressuring me and insulting me….

….and all those other times I have overlooked saying “no” and thought of someone as going on and on, or being rude, or being too intense….

….hasn’t that been just like chopping wood with a blunt ax?

Saying no is much more efficient. It only takes one or two strokes, and the tree is down.

Then, you get to move on to the next thing.

Love, Grace

2 Replies to “I Didn’t Say No And It Got Me A No”

  1. Wow, Grace, you are soooo good!! Hit the nail on the head again! I find myself in the middle of a situation, no actually 2 situations, who knows, maybe more!!! all because I did not say no when I felt the NO! It was there SCREAMING at me, but no, I went ahead anyway, and it cost me some serious money…and now it will cost me my time…and yet, I’m thinking this will be a chance to practice open heartedness, to practice the not knowing mind, to be open to what ever presents itself…but I have this attitude that I am afraid will get in my way…lots to think about here…thank you so much, once again!

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