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A Very Wise Person Once Told Me That Yes = No & No = Yes

·375 words·2 mins

There’s no getting around it. One of the most sabotaging things you can do is not set boundaries with other people. It can be extremely damaging to your life and happiness if you regularly say yes to other people when you really want to say no.

It’s an easy trap to get into, especially if you have people pleasing tendencies (which I do). Saying yes feels good. It feels positive. It feels helpful.

But I had to realize that saying “yes” to things, especially things you really don’t want to do, is a trap. That sort of “yes” is a “no” in disguise. A very wise person told me that saying “no” to other people is the path to positivity. Because when you say “no” to something, it means you can say “yes” to something else that you’d much rather do.

And conversely, when you say “yes” to things you don’t actually want to do, there’s a cost. That painful “yes” forces you to say “no” to other things.

This is because tradeoffs are a consummate fact of life. As they say, you can have everything but not all at once. Saying yes to some things means saying no to other things. You really do only have so much time and energy, for everything you want to do in your life.

And the opposite is true. When it comes to taking on new commitments, saying “no” to some things means you’re able to say “yes” to other things.

Disappointing, but there’s really no getting around it.

So it’s important to be careful about this. To be mindful of this. And to understand that while it can be uncomfortable learning how to say “no” to people, that it’s essential. It’s worth every ounce of effort. Because you can’t have yes without no and you can’t have no without yes. You must master both.


In other exciting news, Poly Land now has a private Discord server. Here’s how to access it.

We’re shaping up to be the Bob Ross/Great British Bake-Off of polyamory groups.

I can honestly say it’s the best group chat I’ve ever been part of. We are having some great conversations (about everything you can imagine, really). Hope to talk to you there!


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