Life Coaching: There’s a “mean” way – and a “meaningful” way – of saying no. One is derogatory; the other is life affirming.
A “mean” no is probably not the truth. Whereas a “meaningful” no can be transformative, balanced, Zen. It’s a no that means the request doesn’t align with your life’s plan/path. The no itself can be a sharing of your life’s plan/path with the requester. Imagine a request from a stranger that you answer with your Zen approach to life. Your no is quite literally your life-affirming answer to life – your life.
I highly recommend “Boundaries,” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.