"No" is most often viewed as a negative word.
You cannot do something.
You did not get the position.
You will not win the prize.
You did not meet the deadline.
Permission is not granted.
One great parenting tip, received from a wise mom, even stated "Try and say yes as often as you can, so that when you say no, your kids will know that you mean it." I've found this to ring true. While you may not understand the request, if it doesn't really matter, say yes. Yes, you can wear those random purple beads to the grocery store. Yes, you can drink your milk with a straw. Yes, you may pile your lego-creations neatly in the corner, rather than cleaning them up, entirely. These "yeses" have lead to better listening when I say "No, you may not watch that TV show. It's bedtime."
However, there is a less readily seen, positive side of "no."
A well-timed no, can prevent scheduling chaos and unhappiness.
A no from one person may lead me to seek another, better source of information.
Hearing no from someone might be the only way I realize that I can handle the problem, myself.
"No, I will not let you put yourself in that situation" has recently been a great gift of friendship.
I'm beginning to value the talent of saying no. I'm also beginning to see that a "no" just might mean "Be patient, something better is around the corner."