Remember a few years ago there was a massive hype about the film and book called Yes Man? No, this isn’t my belated review of either of those, although with how far behind I am in my blog schedule it’s likely it could be. No, this is about how just saying yes is stupid and destructive. This morning on my way to work I was checking my emails and messages and found myself typing out the same old reply ‘yes, of course I can/will, I would love to’. The reality of the situation is that I wouldn’t love to, in fact I can things of a million things I would love to do more.
I understand the ‘Just Say Yes’ mantra is meant for personal gains, like actually seeing your friends, visiting new places and been a more daring version of yourself. However, the mantra seems to have seeped in to every part of our lives, via social media. There’s not a day that goes by where you’re not bombarded with crappy yet supposedly inspiring quotes when you check you social media feeds – do more of what makes you happy, just say yes, follow your dreams. I blame Tumblr. The reality of it is that we feel so much pressure as it is in society, and now we have all these new mantras to live our lives by, like saying yes, which pressure us even more in to doing things we don’t want to do.
Saying yes hasn’t enriched my life much, especially in my work life, so from now on I am going to be saying no more often. Because saying yes has just helped me to spend more hours in the office, spend more time stressing over how I can get everything done on time and generally making my work life balance a little strained. I’m also going to start been honest with myself in my personal life when people ask me to do things; I won’t say yes to seeing a friend if it’s something I don’t want to do like, like going for a meal. As the quote above says, people pleasing hides the real you. It’s stupid to waste your time, energy and money on saying yes to something just because you feel the social pressure to do so. In the future I will say ‘no, actually I would rather go for a coffee’