Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



206 919 6440


Why People Say No!

New Series INTRO!

Friend, I am excited to share that today, we will begin a new series titled Why People Say No! The idea for this series sprouted while exploring the concept of rejection. As we have all experienced when we hear no, we sense and feel the sting of rejection. And when rejected feelings take root in the heart, one’s life can become directed by unruly inactions and reactions. Therefore, this is worth exploring!

Of course, I would like to say this series is part of a grand scheme, and I am executing a well-orchestrated plan, but that is not the case! A few weeks ago, on a blistering hot Saturday afternoon, as I was gazing at the blue sky, a question swirled in my mind: In the current loneliness epidemic, as people drearily walk into therapists’ offices and awkwardly position themselves on the grey chaise lounge, what do they say to the therapist?

Are we on planet Earth or in the land of Oz?

Does patient Jack walk in and say:

Doc, thank you for making time for me today. I am off-kilter and entangled in a web of positivity because I never hear no!
The other day, I asked out the woman I have had my eye on for a while, and she is fabulous! Truth be told, I think she is out of my league, but let’s keep that entre nous. 😊 Well, before I could finish asking the question, she responded Yes! Absolutely! I think you are incredible! I would love to get to know you better.
Her response knocked me off my feet! She genuinely wants to know who I am, and I am thrilled!

Then, two weeks ago, I asked for a 5% raise at work, and the following day, the CEO walked into my office and said Jack, you are doing a tremendous job at this company, and we recognize that we can do more together! Therefore, rather than only bump up your base salary, we would like to promote you to the Department Lead position! And this offer comes with a 9% increase in base salary and a 14% increase in total compensation. What do you think?
Another ecstatic moment! And it does not end there! 

Doc, there is more!

Remember how last time I told you my dream home was for sale up north? A few days later, I made an offer at 7% below the asking price. Within an hour, the agent called my cellphone and said Jack, are you sitting? I have great news! The owners believe you are the ideal buyer for their home and want to ensure you feel great about the purchase. Therefore, they are counteroffering with a 9% reduction in sales price – for you!
Have you ever heard such a thing, Doc??

It seems before I ask, I receive! And when I ask, I receive double! The bombardment of yeses is overwhelming, and I need your assistance to process the barrage of good tidings and approvals coming my way! 

While this might summarize the life of the reformed Tin Man in the modern magical land of Oz, it does not reflect reality for most of us on planet Earth! Indeed, it is more likely for Jack to lie on the gray couch in his therapist’s office and say, Doc, I did not get the promotion I applied for despite meriting it. As for the woman I am fond of, I let fear get the best of me, and she slipped away. To compound it all, I did not get my dream home and watched new buyers cheerfully move in last weekend. Everywhere I turn, I hear No! My future is going up in smoke! Please help me!

The Tidal Wave

Undeniably, as we discussed last time, feeling rejected is a fact of life. When this happens, the opportunity is to take hold of the feeling. But when we feel rejected, we can allow unwanted feelings to consume our thoughts like a tidal wave and take hold of us as we swirl hopelessly in the seas of denial and compromise. Fortunately, as we uncovered, it is possible to turn the tide and take hold of rejection. But this is not achieved through denial or compromise. Take hold of Rejection! – BLOG – www.akesatia.com

Turning the tide and taking hold of rejection requires understanding why others say no. To understand why others say no, one must develop and practice empathy. Nowadays, empathy is a trending word. But what exactly does it mean? 

What is this thing called empathy?

Now, you might be thinking: Oh no, Aké! Not that empathy word! That’s a Millennial and Gen Z thing! One can’t even say anything these days without being accused of hurting another! – There is a superabundance of sensitivity. I think it’s all much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare said!

Admittedly, nowadays, with the increasing awareness of mental health struggles and focus on mental fitness, empathy is a buzzword. – So much so that I began to lose an appreciation for the term, but understanding the origin deepened my appreciation!
Empathy was coined in 1858 by German philosopher Rudolf Lotze as a translation of Ancient Greek empatheia (meaning passion and state of emotion) and German Einfühlung (meaning in + feeling). And in this context, the word feeling is pathos, meaning to suffer. Notably, it is a term from a theory of art appreciation that maintains appreciation depends on the viewer’s ability to project his personality into the viewed object. empathy | Etymology, origin, and meaning of empathy by etymonline
Herein lies the crux of empathy: We cannot truly understand another without walking in their shoes metaphorically, of course! 😊 And we walk in another’s shoes when we deeply consider them and how they might think and feel given their circumstance. 

Back to where we started!
How can we better understand why people say no? Develop and practice empathy. Why? Because empathy enables one to see multi-dimensionally and understand others. We will explore this enlightening terrain from personal and professional perspectives in the upcoming series titled Why People Say No! 

Until next time!

For you and to you,



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *