People are often told they need to say “No” more.  Wanting to please becomes a way of life, so when asked to do something, they immediately reply “Yes”, before they’re even thought if they actually want to do it, or have time to do it.  So a movement of sorts was formed, one that gave people. especially women, the power that saying “No” was acceptable, indeed, preferable in many situations.

I do believe that everyone has the ability to say “No” to any situation, regardless of the reason.  No one should ever feel obligated to do something.


Shonda Rhimes wrote a book, “Year of Yes”, which basically detailed how saying “Yes” changed her life.  So have we gotten hasty with our use of the word “No”?

If something goes against your personal code of ethics, you need to say no.  There is no situation that should ever make you do something you believe is wrong.  If something is illegal, I’m also saying you should say no.  (People might disagree with me on this, but my feeling is that laws are carefully made.  What gives someone the power to arbitrarily disregard one that they don’t believe in?  Isn’t that anarchy?  And don’t bring up going 60 in a 55 mile zone- that’s not a good enough argument.)

If you have a full plate of work and personal commitments, should you decide to chair a banquet for school?  Well, you know how busy you are, whether or not you have the time.  But what if this is something that will actually enhance your life, bring you joy?  Shouldn’t you at least consider it?  What if your boss asks you to do a project not completely related to your roll?  What if the task brings about a great opportunity?  Shouldn’t you consider it?

As my daughter begins to really delve into what type of student colleges want, the one consistent message she’s seen is that all schools want the type of student who seizes the opportunities  that are put in front of them.  They want the kid that goes for it.  They want the kid that says “Yes”.


Because people that say yes are the ones that are actively participating in life.  They are the people that are learning by doing.  They are the people unafraid to make mistakes, the ones unafraid to fail. They are the people developing things, and leading movements and making their mark.

Yes is a powerful word.  Yes helps you reach your goals.  Yes helps your dreams become a reality.  Yes takes you where you head wants to be.  Yes takes you to where your heart wants to be.  Yes takes you to where you want to be.

Yes can also be a lot of fun.  We had a particularly warm day this week.  After a morning spent doing errands and work, I looked at my daughter and said “Do you want to get ice cream?”  Now, I’m supposed to be watching my weight, and she’s supposed to be studying everything under the sun, but sometimes when life hands you 72 degrees in the middle of February in New York, you kind of need to seize the moment. And maybe choose an ice cream shop a mile and a half away and walk both directions.  But get that strawberry rhubarb crisp in a cup and enjoy it.  Take twenty minutes out and talk to you kid about just anything.

Yes can be a wonderful word.

So before you give any answer, really consider what the question is.  Think about how yes will make you feel.  It’s actually a little bit positive versus negative now isn’t it?

51 thoughts on “Yes or No

  1. Riiight. I think the idea is to stop doing things that are out of obligation and start paying attention to who you are and what you want regardless of other’s preferences. But I like how you’ve shown the duality here.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I agree. Sometimes it’s so hard to say “Yes” to situations out of fear, hesitation, etc. I try to say “Yes” to my daughter when she wants to do something fun. I try to say “Yes” when I think it’ll enhance my life. We just don’t know until we take that leap of faith and dive right in. Great article! Thank you for sharing. I wish more people would read this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If I recall correctly, it was the word “yes” that prompted John Lennon to become interested in Yoko Ono. He was viewing an avant-garde art piece of hers that included a ladder. When he walked up the ladder, there was a tiny note which said, “yes”. He later remarked if it had said “no” or something negative, he would have been turned off. Of course, there are some fans who wish it had say something other than “yes.” But I guess that’s another matter entirely. – Marty

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  4. There’s guilt associated with saying no. It’s tough sometimes when others have expectations of/for you and you’re too tired/pissed off/unmotivated to justify your answer. Sometimes it’s easier to say yes and just do it.

    My mom used to work in retail as a manager and took pride in being the one they always went to when something needed done. They emphasis was ‘give it to the busiest person because that’s how it’ll actually get done’. She was so worn down and ragged, sick in the end, I told her that maybe it was time to say no occasionally. But some people just can’t…

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    1. I think there are some boundary issues. KE and I were also talking about the obligatory yes when you REALLY don’t want to. But I think we should try to be open and positive….though that is sooo hard!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 12 step recovery taught me that “no.” is a complete and grammatically correct sentence. On the flip side, it taught me that there are some questions that require me to answer “yes.” without hesitation. Finding the balance is the tricky part🤔

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    1. You’re right. It’s a matter of paying attention to what the question is. And I get no for things that are dangerous to you as a person. It’s the thought if saying yes to the right things!!❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a believer in intuition. I just think about all the people that say no without thinking or understanding. I look at my kid who tales opportunities (let me preface these are things like writing an article or leading a group) and has learned and grown from experience

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  6. My mother-in-law shared some wisdom with my husband and me soon after we retired: do your best to say “yes” to invitations, even those you aren’t crazy about. Her point (based on her experience) was that if one says “no” to often, pretty soon they won’t be invited anymore. So, even if we are tired, even if we would rather stay at home, even if we’ve already done a lot that day/week/month, we still try to say “yes.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a really great post. What I’ve found about “no” is it’s so limiting, while yes it full of possibilities. Where would we be without yes in this world? This doesn’t mean that I don’t have second thoughts about saying yes, but I’m usually glad that I chose possibilities over “no.” Too many people say no out of a habit or fear. I’m glad you went and got the ice cream!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re right! Saying yes isn’t always about the desire to please others, or doing things we don’t really want to do. It can also be about finding the courage to chase our dreams, try something new, or accept a challenge that will change our life in wonderful ways. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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