The power of "No" to deepen your friendships
The other day I received this text from a friend:
"What you’ve taught me over the past few years about energy-checking and the trust and relaxation of an agenda-less, pure No is one of the core parts of the divine joy I feel in this friendship. It is empowering to me personally and to relationship."
Isn’t that just the BEST?!
It made me realize this: the friendships where I enjoy the most connection and intimacy are those where we trust each other to express our honest No, where it is honored and we don’t make it mean something it doesn’t.
It is SO freeing.
In these friendships we talk about checking-in with Energy and share the insights and trust we have gained from following our inner guidance. It creates an environment where there is a desire to know the truth and we lean in to the knowing that whatever comes up is for everyone’s highest good. We stay in curiosity about how that could be true, even when at first it seems like it is not.
Having Energy Checking woven into the fabric of friendship allows me to be myself and stay protected within my own divine autonomy. It is all too easy for me to go with the flow and forget to check in to see if what I’m going along with is in alignment with my own priorities, schedule, energy and purpose.
My practice of checking in with Energy has allowed me to develop close relationships with others while not losing touch with myself.
I was talking with one of my Energy Checking sister-friends about how significant it is that we’ve each become comfortable expressing our No.
I said, “it really cuts down on the drama, doesn’t it?” And she was like, “Oh, it brings the drama down to ZERO.”
I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but it’s really true. Zero drama.
When you come to rely upon Energy to guide you there is zero second guessing yourself, the other person, or the friendship.
It puts the kibosh on codependent, enmeshed situations.
It frees up so much energy.
It bestows courage to ask for things you normally wouldn’t venture because you can trust the person you ask will tell you if it doesn’t work for them. It gives you the confidence to try new things.
But when you’re not checking in with Energy, it is too easy to veer from your own center and just plain get tangled up in your own mind.
Here’s an all too common example:
A friend asks if you want to go to yoga with her after having spent the morning together.
Hmm...I should go, it’s nice of her to invite me. Gosh, I don’t feel like going, but does one ever really feel like going to yoga? Probably not. I should just power through. I’ll be glad I went. And it’ll be awkward if I say No. I don’t want her to think I don’t enjoy hanging out with her. Why does it feel weird to even want something different than what she wants? What's my deal? Honestly, I can’t even tell if I want to go or not. I think she wants me to go, so maybe I should just go. That’ll make her happy, right? I want her to be happy!
And this is how we all too often end up in pretzel situations where everyone is doing the thing that they think will please the other person so no one is doing what they want.
This energetic twinning happens a lot to empaths who have not developed their own autonomy.
In the case with empaths often we aren’t even aware of our own needs or interests because we're so externally oriented. Checking in with Energy allows you to include yourself within the circle of consideration.
Yet it goes beyond being honest about your No and matters of personal interest. Energy connects you to what will be best for everyone. Energy is always pulling in the 360 degree view.
Energy gives you the perfect answer in the now moment for the next step of your development. It is beautiful and amazing like that.
So here’s what actually happened in the above example with a dear friend of mine when she asked me if I'd like to go to yoga: I checked in, got a No, said it was a No for me and that was that. Clean.
No emotional residue. Except for the fact that we keep excitedly talking about our breakthrough moment.
Friend: “Remember when I asked you to go to yoga and you said No?”
Friend: “That was AMAZING!”
Me: “I KNOOOOOOOOW!”
Friend: “I knew I could trust your No and I love that I didn’t have to wonder if it was a comment on our friendship. I just let it be because I knew you were checking in with your own truth. It empowered me to speak my own No.”
We’re basically still high from the experience.
This is paradigm shifting stuff for empathic women.
When you are not comfortable expressing your autonomy you end up keeping people at a safe distance and often choose to go it alone.
When friends support one another in checking with Energy, it frees both people into their own autonomy and creates intimacy and appropriate boundaries.
As trust and confidence build within this context, it becomes safer to reach out.
A friend needed help with child care. She told me that trusting her friends’ capacity to connect to their core and say No gave her the confidence to make a request without apologizing for having needs or feeling like a burden by asking for help. It gave her the courage to reach out to her friends to ask for support.
Later she said, “I knew if I got universal No’s I could trust that it would be okay, that there was a reason for it being a No and it wasn’t because they hate me for asking and feel like it’s a burden.”
How many people get themselves into serious situations because they don’t feel that they can ask for help for fear of being a burden?
How much time do you waste trying to come up with the right excuse that will make sense to the person you’re delivering it to while straining every nerve so as not to hurt their feelings?
How different would your life be if you were connected to your honest No and felt safe expressing it with your friends?
While incredibly practical, there is a mystical element to checking in with Energy. It creates a different dynamic from how friendship stuff usually happens. It provides a framework for feelings and hunches, which you don’t quite have language for yet, to be honored.
We are so used to living within a masculine context that says if it can’t be named, if it’s not a provable THING, it’s not real. So we discount the feelings and hunches that aren’t yet fully formed within us, turning away from an exploration of them and look to our environment to figure out how to do the most socially acceptable thing. Each time we do this we move a step away from expressing and living our authentic self.
I have an invitation for you: invite a friend or two to learn the concept of checking in with Energy. Ask if they'd like to be your truth practicing partner. Go through the free Energy Checking video series and workbook together. Make an agreement that goes something like this: Let's get curious about the truth that Energy is guiding us each toward and honor it within this relationship. Especially when it comes to giving voice to our No.
Within this shared agreement, you can offer the honest No you receive from Energy without even having to fully know yourself why you got that answer. Allow yourself to be guided and watch how it unfolds for everyone’s highest interest.
Remember, you practice your No on the simplest things, which are actually the big things.
A friend says, “I’m taking this bag of clothes to Goodwill and I thought this skirt would look great on you. Do you want it?”
How often have you taken the skirt so you could avoid saying No to your friend?
It's time to change that.
You can connect with your truth in the moment and find the courage to follow its guidance, even when it means saying No. And trust me, it gets so much easier. Once you grow your capacity with this skill you'll look back on any other way of being as a prison of your own making.
Here's to deep friendships that bubble up with divine joy!