Peace Partnership

How do you respond to the word “no”?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016



No. Two letters — One syllable — One Word — No. It can be used as a noun, adverb, determiner, or explanation and is defined as a negative to express refusal, dissent, and denial, usually in response to a question. We use it regularly. It is a powerful word.

We begin hearing the word no as a child. Research has shown the average one year old hears the word no more than 400 times a day. Oftentimes a toddler hears the word no repeated in response to the same action. No no no no no.

Soon we begin using the word no. This development in our vocabulary signals a healthy affirmation of our autonomy and independence. We begin to advocate for ourselves and establish healthy boundaries. If we struggle in this area we have to learn these boundaries later in life. But one thing is certain: everyone needs to learn to say no to be healthy.

But if we are honest we would have to admit we do not like hearing the word no. Few people actually enjoy hearing the word no. But how we respond to the word no says a lot about ourselves. Our response or reaction to the word no says a lot about our maturity and emotional health. If we struggle and react in an unhealthy way when we hear no we might want to evaluate what is happening in our thoughts and emotions.

Although autonomy and independence are healthy, we are connected to others by relationships. While we govern our own choices, we do not govern our consequences. Oftentimes when we hear the word no someone else is establishing a boundary. It is at this time we must recognize that our choice to make decisions autonomously does not mean our choices are not without consequences. The word no can be a healthy reminder that we live in community with one another and the boundaries of others should be respected.

Struggling when we hear the word no can also signal a sense of entitlement. Sometimes we believe if we want something enough and try hard enough, we deserve it. However, what we desire will not always turn out to be a reality in our life. Learning to deal with the reality of life helps us to “make sense” of life. In short, we do not always get what we want.

Oftentimes a negative reaction to the word no indicates a need to be in control of the situation. Sometimes when hearing the word no we can exhibit an emotional response such as anger, anxiousness, or frustration. This emotional response can indicate that we believe everything would work out better if the person saying no would simply obey our demands. The word no is a reminder that we are not really in control of external things.

Finally, the word no reminds us that we are not always right. We are not always the smartest person in the room. The word no can cause us to think, reconsider, rephrase, contemplate, compromise, and even reevaluate what is necessary for our contentment. The word no is an invitation to learn.

Our inability to hear the word no can be an indicator of childish behaviors and thought patterns. At the same time, our healthy responses to the word no signify growth, healthy autonomy, self-awareness, and a curiosity to learn. We would all do well to ask ourselves, “How do I respond when I hear the word no?”


Community Partnerships 3

Peace Partnership hosted the August Before Hours Chamber event with the Lee’s Summit Chamber. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other local business professionals and share breakfast together. The MooseMan and MooseMobile made an appearance making it the perfect opportunity for a group photo op. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the day such a huge success! We were honored to host such a great group of people.


Thank You!

It is hard to believe another month has flown by. With it came new opportunities to be involved in our community as well as new Partners joining our important mission. Thank you to everyone who partners with us to provide affordable counseling to so many in our community. We are excited to acknowledge a couple of our new Partners joining our vision, so here are this month’s “Thank You Notes”:

  • Thank you, Alissa Bird Weddings + Portraits, for donating your time and talent for our new team photos. You were so comfortable to work with and it is obvious you are doing what you love!
  • Thank you, High Street Baptist Church, for your financial partnership. It is our pleasure working together for the health of your church family and global partners.
  • Thank you, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, for inviting us to participate in your Royals event. We have such a heart for helping local students.

If you are interested in finding out how you can become a Peace Partner don’t miss the chance to get involved. There is still time to double your gifts, so please click on the link below or contact our Director of Development, Jeff Cox, at

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