Are you comfortable saying ‘no’ to people, challenges, and requests, even when you have a good reason? Is it a careful selection process or do top priorities always take the lead?

Making Time In A Busy World By Saying ‘No”?

All over mass media and not so mass (smaller blogs for example) you can read recommendations by successful people about how important it is to say ‘no’ to people, things, commitments, obligations, and appointments; so you would have more time for what really matters: work on your passion, family, rest and relaxation, enjoying small moments and the present.

saying yes, positive, affirmation, caring

Photo by Erich Ferdinand

While I completely agree on the latter causing a good balance between work and play, commitments and rest, I don’t think it’s the absolute model for everyone to follow.

Me for example. All my life I have felt very uncomfortable saying ‘no’. To be honest, uncomfortable isn’t the right expression; perhaps highly anxious, accompanied by an increased heartbeat. Wait, isn’t that a symptom of getting a heart attack? Exactly!

Since I’ve given up going through heart attack symptoms for something that I can control, let’s see what is wrong with saying ‘yes’ then.

‘Yes’ Is A Good Thing


This affirmative word means you want to be there for someone, shows caring, implies a positive attitude, aspiration, willingness, openness, flexibility, empathy.

At the other end, it can also be a sign of an insecure person who is doing something against their will, inferiority. If you’re at this end, then working on saying ‘no’ can definitely be a progression in self-improvement.

I personally like and enjoy saying ‘yes’ and then deliver on those promises. When given a choice (and there’s always one), I’d rather work 3 days straight resulting in satisfying the other side and myself with what has been achieved or take a day-off and help a friend in need; than going to a spa-centre with the acknowledgment that someone/something was needed and required of me and I chose to say ‘no’.

It’s a big struggle if your body and soul tell you one thing and the conventional wisdom another; conventional wisdom in today’s society that is. After trying to see if a shift can be made, I’ve rationalized that saying ‘yes’ actually works for me, even though it frequently causes stress by taking on too much.

By saying ‘yes’:

 you’re opening yourself to help/support/love other people

you’re stretching yourself to bonding, learning, finding

And only by saying ‘yes’ will you be able to find out whether it was a good choice. If you said ‘no’ you would never know how it would have turned out otherwise. So ultimately it involves a decent level of curiosity and after all, this is a blog about curiosity.

Are you a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ person? Remember that there’s no right or wrong answer.


10 thoughts on “Are You A ‘Yes’ Or A ‘No’ Person?

    • I’m sure you’re a great person though. The balance between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is hard to achieve; leaning on extreme sides is easier for our personalities. Try saying ‘no’ when you definitely don’t want something and frequent practice can help in beating that anxious feeling.

  1. I’m definitely too much of a yes person. I’m actually trying to get it under control because it causes too much stress and anxiety. I agree to most things because I like a challenge and want to make people happy. However, by causing too much stress you’re taking away the enjoyment of the task and the other persons happiness. What’s the point then?
    There was a great movie called Yes Man where this man who always tells people no to everything accepts a challenge to say yes to everything. Sure enough, his life changes drastically.

    • You pose a great question here Kevin, one that I’ve been trying to tackle for a long time. For me it works better if I say ‘yes’ in spite of the stress, making sure that I don’t pass on to the other side. But yeah, everything has its price. Often I’m even dependent on that stress —> adrenaline of having too much on the plate, so it’s definitely a part of who I am. Thanks for the movie recommendation; I’ll check it out.

  2. Great post, Sophie. I certainly appreciate how hard you work for others. I do hope you will take care of yourself, though. 🙂

    I’m a yes/no person. I often say no to protect my own comfort and/or agenda. However, I will also go on a yes streak and take on far too much work than I can reasonably accomplish. I’m often an emotional decision maker and will say yes or no depending on how I feel at that very moment. Not very strategic, unfortunately.

    • Thanks Joe; always nice to hear an appreciation. It sounds like you’re keeping a balance or at least trying to, which is great. As for me, I don’t mind it to be honest; sometimes it’s relieving to stop struggling against something that’s pretty much your core.

  3. I am definitely a yes person. So much so that I might get myself into a lot of unwanted trouble. I am trying but I still am more of the yes person. Is it really easy to say no?

    • It definitely isn’t if you’ve always been inclined to the other side – saying ‘yes’. Having limits is desirable, but balancing is not easily achievable. You’re doing great by trying and if you practice it more (only when it causes trouble like you said), I’m sure you’ll get better at it. Thanks for sharing Hajra.

  4. Hmmmm … yes and no 🙂 I try to say yes more and more, especially to my kids. I do the “Yes, but …” so if they ask for something out-of-the-ordinary, they can have/do/enjoy it, but first have to wash their hands, brush their teeth. And when I do say no, well no means no. That’s important to me. But again, that’s my “mommy” perspective …

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