Friday, April 29, 2011

"Y" is for Yes


This second-to-last post for the A-Z Challenge is a little convoluted, but bear with me.  I have a stormy relationship with this word, and it's partner, No. 

Yes is something we like to hear.  We like it when people agree with us, and when they will do things for us.  It can make us feel good.

"Yes, we loved your novella and would like to offer you a contract."

"Yes, I can give you a ride because your car is in the shop."

"Yes, I will marry you."

You get the idea.

Yes is also a word that we dread hearing.

"Yes, I lost my job."

"Yes, our accounts are overdrawn."

No one likes to hear bad news, even with a yes attached, because in this case, the yes confirms something we don't want to hear.

Saying yes a lot can also feel good.  If you say yes a lot, you're someone people can count on to be there for them.  You're someone who can be depended on.  You're also someone to be taken advantage of, or someone who's a kiss ass. The trick, as I've learned, or, more accurately, am learning, is to strike a happy medium.  Sure, go ahead and agree to do things.  It's neighborly, and helpful, even to yourself.

"Yes, I can finish this manuscript."

"Yes, I will watch your cat."

"Yes, I would like that delicious dessert you brought over, thank you."

"Yes, I can be here between noon and four."  

"Yes, I can bring you to the airport at some ungodly hour."

But, be careful not to yes too much.  When you say yes, you need to put yourself first.  This is something I'm working on, as well as saying yes to more things that I would have initially shot down for whatever reason.  Maybe it's a fear of trying new things, I don't know.  But I'm going to try to say it more for things I wouldn't have in the past.  But not bungee jumping.  I draw the line there.  Piggy-backing that, I'm also going to say no more.  I will say no more often when I would have yes, which goes along with the putting myself first thing.  

In short, I will no more when I would have yessed,  and yes more when I would have noed.  And I will be happier for it.  

xoxo Sarah


  1. I can give you a definite maybe.

  2. LOL! The word maybe is worse...commit, dammit! :-P

  3. I used to be a 'yes' person, it meant I got taken advantage of A LOT. But I've learnt to say 'no' more often. Great post Sarah.

    A x

  4. If I can't find it in my to say No, I try to say Not now. That holds off the Yes which might be a mistake. I've gotten better at No. The truth is that when we say Yes, but wish we'd said No, we're doing more harm than good to ourselves and others.

  5. @Antimony: I know exactly what you mean. It's tough to learn, but it feels so good when it starts to kick in and "no" becomes more natural.

    @Mary: Ooh, good strategy. I have also found that it's easier to turn a "no" into a "yes" rather than the opposite. People are much happier to get that "yes," even if it's delayed, than have their "yes" turned into a "no." They get pissed about that, lol. Great point about doing more harm than good. I couldn't agree more.