Yes vs. No

Dr Neale Heal with Dr. Neale

Summer is full of yes’s. These yes’s sound fun at the time of commitment but can turn into a dreaded yes upon arrival.

How does this happen?

Upon reflection, here are some reasons it might happen:

  1. You plan so far into the future that you lose touch with what the future version of you will feel like that day. I haven’t met my Sept. 15th self yet, how would I know what she will be up for that day?
  2. You say yes for the wrong reasons. I don’t want to disappoint, I am obligated to go, I should show face, they came to our event, I need to be more social, he really needs my help right now.
  3. You say yes indirectly or “by default” because someone you care for (and help meet life’s demands for) says yes. A kiddo, an elderly parent, a life partner/spouse, etc.
  4. You are not in touch with what the yes ACTUALLY demands. Even a fun day out with the family can be more work than fun. Everyone has to be wrangled into getting a plan together, getting ready, getting packed, getting mobilized. There is food planning, shopping and preparation, packing the cooler, packing the car. The cost of food. The cost of participation. The cost of time and energy to make it happen. There is the effort to engage and socialize, to talk, to find things to say to each other, the cost of self judgement after you’ve found things to say and you might not have liked your choice of words. I call these the yes “add ons.” If we don’t consciously say yes to all of the “add on’s” in addition to the “yes” to the fun, then we have lost touch with 3/4 of what that yes actually means.

These YES’s might distract you from your own visions and life purpose. It might deplete you and leave you feeling out of touch with your own needs and wants.

If you relate, you are not alone! If you are feeling the tug to pull more inward and balance your outward- and inward-spent time, here is a tip that I absolutely did NOT come up with on my own.

I met a man who taught me a tactic, if you will. This tactic has been a game changer for me. And to boot, it’s very simple to understand and apply.

Ready for it?

He explained, after an attentive pause, like he was telling me a secret, “I say no before yes.”

Huh? Now, that’s a concept!

Upon hearing it, I reflected and realized that most of us say yes before no, almost like default programming.

He simply reversed the formula.

He continued, “the initial let down of a no is pretty soft on both parties, now, if I come around to a yes AFTER a no, I look like a hero. But, If I say no AFTER a yes, then I’m kind of a jerk.”

Thank you unnamed man. This past summer, where I applied this new and improved formula, has been my best summer to date!