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Are You Saying Yes When You Mean No?

tangible techniques Jul 12, 2022

You ever notice that little kids and older folks rarely (if ever) say Yes when they mean no?

I was with a friend’s children the other day…they just say yes if they mean yes and no…a lot.

My grandmother NEVER said yes unless she meant YES. And she said NO… A LOT.

Have you been saying yes when you mean no? Let me offer you a few insights…


No is a complete sentence.

You NEVER owe anyone an explanation. You can…Just. Say. No. Period.

You might think, “If I just say yes, I can keep the peace. I can avoid a confrontation. I don’t want to rock the boat.”

Whose peace are you keeping? It reminds me of my boss saying, “Take one for the team.” What team is that? Not the team of me. Saying yes when I mean no is a surefire way to DISRUPT my own peace. Saying yes when I mean no leads to resentment. I’m doing something because I thought it would make another person feel better, keep the peace, or smooth “things” out. I say yes to avoid a hard conversation or a confrontation. But in the end, I’m just angry and resentful.


“But I’ll feel guilty if I don’t say yes.”  How about this? Guilt is a thought error. Nothing more. Guilt is not real or true or required. Guilt is some old belief you are holding onto about being a “good person” or a “good friend.”  If I say yes, I’m “good.”


Truth:  When you say yes when you truly mean no, you are a liar. How about that?


Challenge of the week: Say NO at least (3) times.


Notice when you say YES, “Did I mean no but said yes anyway? WHY?”


“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”
– Josh Billings

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