Dec 01, 2020

Yes Man

For a period of my life, I thought having a propensity to say yes to everything was a virtue. I thought it indicated I was open-minded. Like Jim Carrey’s character in Yes Man, I was going to live a life of excitement because I was open to saying yes to every opportunity.

Now I realize that I was fooling myself. I fooled myself into believing that there were only positive reasons for saying yes when in fact, it was more likely that I was avoiding the uncomfortable feeling of telling somebody no. I have even said yes to things where I resent the person afterwards for having asked for something from me (if that sounds familiar to you, then you too may be a chronic people-pleaser).

It’s easier to say yes but you pay a price for it. Saying yes to something is saying no to everything else. And if you’re also saying yes to everything else, then you’re really just saying no to everything; you will be spread so thin that you will not keep your promises to anyone.

It can be difficult to reject somebody who wants your help, especially if they’re a close family member or friend. But if you keep putting everyone else’s needs ahead of yours, you will be left with nothing but resentment and regret. So if the response isn’t ”hell yeah!”, saying no is actually the most generous thing we can all do.