Last Updated on February 19, 2024

How to be a healing presence in the world

If you want to be a healing presence in the world, there is one simple thing you can do:

Enthusiastically welcome people’s “no.”

Allow me to explain.

Pushy Sales

When I was in my early 20s, I wanted to join a gym to lift weights.

So I went down to the local 24 Hour Fitness to check it out.

I expected to pay some sort of day rate and try out the gym.

Instead, the receptionist told me to wait for a trainer to show me around.

This buff dude showed me around the gym, then took me into an office.

Then he did an incredibly pushy sales pitch for a 2-year contract.

I told him that’s not really what I wanted.

In fact I didn’t really have the money.

But ultimately I caved into his pressure.

Once I was locked in to a gym membership, I learned that the bathrooms were disgusting.

They were always dirty, and the toilets broken.

Much of the equipment in the gym was broken too.

To this day, I still hate 24 Hour Fitness!

In fact, I have had a negative opinion of all commercial gyms since that one sales conversation.

People-Pleasing

Having your “no” ignored, overridden, or pushed through sucks.

Yet we do this to each other and even ourselves all the time.

From a young age our “no” is often ignored.

So many of us learn to be people-pleasers.

By the time we work up the courage to say “no,” we’ve thought about it for a long time.

We’ve gone over and over in our heads how to say it without upsetting the other person.

As a result, most people often say “yes” directly and “no” indirectly.

We have learned that at best, people respond to our “no” with disappointment.

This is why enthusiastically and sincerely welcoming someone’s “no” is healing.

Imagine if you were invited to a party.

You really like the person putting it on, but don’t want to go.

Many people would go anyway, out of a feeling of obligation.

That’s because it doesn’t feel safe to say “no.”

But imagine you said you weren’t coming and the person hosting the party responded like this:

“Thank you so much for your ‘no’! I really love it when people are clear about what they want and don’t want. It helps me to trust you more.”

Just imagining that, I feel my whole nervous system relax.

What if “no” didn’t damage the relationship, but made it stronger?

Non-Pushy Sales

Imagine that salesman at 24 Hour Fitness had instead said this:

“Thanks for letting me know about your budget!”

“Would it work better for you to do a monthly rate for now and then we can revisit a contract later if your financial situation changes?”

In that case, I would have been a very happy customer…at least until I discovered the disgusting bathrooms and broken equipment. 😆

This zero pressure style is how I do my own sales.

In my free consultations, I literally tell people they don’t have to buy from me!

And yet I still have a high “conversion rate” of people who do buy.

The worst outcome in my opinion would be forcing someone to be my client who isn’t a good fit.

That would both not get results for the client, and lead to negative word-of-mouth.

I think enthusiastically welcoming “no” works better for sales, for relationships, and for ourselves.

It is deeply healing to integrate objections in a world that bowls over them.

Take care,
~Duff