The true test of a man shouldn’t be how many women he can bed, or how much money he can make, but rather how much grace and graciousness he can show in receiving a no.
No one likes to be rejected, shut down, or told no.
It can give you a feeling of being stifled, shamed, judged, or even of having your worth denied.
But even though you can do a lot to impact the no that’s offered, what really matters is how you react to it.
A no is not something to be worked around. To be cajoled. To be pushed past.
A no is an invitation to pause, to get curious, to reflect, and to lean in with an open heart.
This is especially true when a woman tells you no.
And even more true when she tells you no gently.
It’s brave for a woman to say no.
Because we live in a world where no from a woman is a dirty dangerous word.
So if she gives it, gently and with love it means she trusts you or hopes to.
She is asking with hope that you will be the kind of man who honors this no, feels the fullness of its gift, and is willing to swallow any pain that might arise and simply be with her.
A no isn’t personal anymore than a fenced yard is, or a keep off the grass sign.
No is the simplest unit of a boundary.
No is a line that helps you see where your desire hits her comfort or willingness.
Her no is a gift because it tells you exactly where you are.
It gives you a ground to stand on and explore with her or within yourself.
Sure you can ask about the no, get curious about what might have it be a yes, work through nos that want to be changed, but you can only do this with honor, if you can receive it with grace and graciousness.
The grace to hear it and really feel its power.
The grace to let it land and to pause before you react.
The grace to own what it brings up, while also honoring how it was offered.
The grace to learn from this no and to hear the no behind any yes so that you can feel where the chance for growth (mostly yours) lies.
And alongside these graces, graciousness.
The graciousness that she trusts you to tell you no, (esp directly)
The graciousness to be strong enough to not collapse in the face of it.
The graciousness that she doesn’t want you to step over an edge that might damage your connection.
With a graciousness that she is offering you a chance to honor and even heal her with your loving reception.
This is a true test of what it means to be a man.
Because a man who is strong in himself, truly honors the one he’s with and is capable of accepting challenges with dignity and courage, is a man all men should all work to be.