Becoming a Yes Person


I find myself expecting life to open doors to me–doors that will lead to surprising opportunities, adventure and change.  Maybe this is sometimes how it works but I read the phrase “being a yes person” recently and it stopped me in my tracks.  As outgoing and free-spirited as I am (or think I am), I’m not sure I’d call myself a Yes Person, per se.

1. I am a thinker.

I have come to recognize a very prominent duality in my basic nature: I need to be organized in order to be spontaneous.


My bedroom studio space must be clean before I am able to begin a creative project (the end result of which is never not a full-on chaotic mess) and here, my room studio space is a symbol for my mind. Accordingly, when I go out, I like to know where I’m going and what will be expected of me in said place. Though I rarely adhere to these preconceived guidelines (ask me about the outfit I wore to a bowling alley in central Massachusetts, IT INVOLVES VELVET BELLBOTTOMS) I like to know what’s what–clearly and organized-ly– before I attempt to wow you with my exceptional maverick tendencies, haha. I think it helps me mentally prepare for the possible interactions I’ll encounter, to which I will be able to react with confidence (and less from a feeling of being out of my depth.)

2. A part of me still wants to convince the world that I have a plan.

You know that feeling when you are walking down the street and you pass an interesting flyer on a window? I have A REALLY HARD TIME turning around to go read it.  I think this stems from my hatred of tourists (come on, you hate them too; the way they meander unsurely down the sidewalk, wait for the wrong door to open on the T, and in short form an impediment for anyone with a place to go.) If an acquaintance stopped me on the street and said, “Hey, want to go to this new platypus habitat?” I would very probably say that I was busy even if I wasn’t. I had, after all, expected to go straight home after work, so this is the equivalent of asking me to make a U-turn on the sidewalk. Twenty or so steps later, I would begin to rethink my out-of-office autoresponse. A platypus habitat might be something worth seeing…

**Now there are extenuating circumstances. If it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who stopped me in my tracks, or if I was literally over-the-moon about platypuses, I would DEFINITELY respond with a quick Yes. I think my point is that unless the opportunity is wearing a pink feather boa and yelling at me in Yiddish, I probably won’t recognize it as an opportunity.

Hence, I am resolving to be a Yes Person–the kind of person who says yes by default and then considers whether the decision was a good or bad idea.


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