Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Overcoming the "Yes Man" Disorder

She hung up the phone.
"I hate dating!" the lady said while staring up at the ceiling from the kitchen floor.
Another invitation accepted.


I remember a conversation I had with a friend about a year ago. We were talking about dating and marriage. He said "I want to get married, I just wish I could skip the dating part." I now know exactly what he meant. 

The games. The small talk.  The uncertainty. The waiting. The wishing. The conventions. The rules (written and unwritten). The obligations. The highs! 

and the lows.

...Making decisions in general. Being rejected. And rejecting others. 

It gets tiring.

Rejection. We all face it and it's never pleasant. When we are the individual doing the rejecting its even less pleasant. In fact, a lot of the time you leave the situation feeling like dirt--even when its for the best. 

This happened to me recently. I was dating a young man, we had been going on dates for a few weeks, but had been getting to know each other via letter for about a year before that. We were good friends and when I returned home, naturally I wanted to see what would happen. We went on a multiple dates over the course of a few weeks.

We were talking in the car after a lovely evening out on the town when he asked me about the status of our relationship. He was ready to date me--and only me. So the ball was in my court; I needed to make a decision. (oh! the dreaded ultimatum.) With that weighing heavily on my heart he walked me to the door.

I did what a good lady should. I gave it some time. I thought about it. I prayed about it. And my conclusion was that I shouldn't go on with the relationship. 

I had my answer, but telling him was still difficult. I told him that I didn't feel right about continuing the relationship. He was understanding and said that he had been thinking about it and had talked to some people and felt the same way. It should have made me feel better, but I still bawled after he closed the door behind me. 

Yup. I felt like dirt.

It's never easy to say goodbye to someone you care about.

The question: is there a good way to say "no?"

Whether you're ending or averting a relationship, saying no can be difficult. In an attempt to avoid the unpleasantness of saying "no," some people develop what I call the "yes man disorder." (Sometimes I think it might just be people with a certain personality type that have this problem.) "Yes Man" is a disorder that causes young ladies to say "yes" to everyone who asks her out. I, unfortunately, have this disorder. Which is why, over the past few weeks I have said "yes" to more dates than you want to know about, and more than I care to talk about.

As I have been thinking about the "Yes Man" Disorder, I came up with a few steps to help myself (and others struggling with YMD) to recover and create a happy and "yes"-balanced life.
Classy Graphics by Lady L.

How to overcome the "Yes Man" Disorder:

Step 1: Recognition
Admit that you have a problem--you are powerless over saying "no" to a guy who asks you out.

Step 2: Believe
Believe that there is hope for you to change. There are big, bright NO's at the end of the dark YES tunnel.

Step 3: Decide
Make a decision to turn your life around and say "no." Let's practice it right now! 1, 2, 3, "NO!" (If you refused to do it, congratulations! You said no through your indifference. Tricked you!)

Step 4: Search
Identify when you are most likely to say "yes"against your better judgement, and then search for alternative options (a.k.a. ways to say "no.")  I'll help you out here, my brother and I came up with these examples of how to say no to a date/relationship: "I'm sorry, that time isn't going to work for me." Use it a couple of times. He'll get the picture. OR "I don't want to take advantage of your kindness, I had better decline." OR "I appreciate our time together, but I think I am going to go a different direction." OR "I'm sorry, I don't think we're headed in the same direction in life." (That one was given to me by a trusted adviser.)

Step 5: Locate Target for Practice
Find an empty wall, a department store mannequin, or a picture of Brad Pitt in a magazine. (What was that you said? You don't want to turn down Brad Pitt? ...Now darling, remember this: if you can turn down Brad Pitt, you can turn down any man. It's good practice. Carry on.) Once you've found your picture proceed to Step 6.

Step 6: Practice
Look at your target, take a deep breath, and say "NO!" and then pick one of your premeditated phrases and use one of those. (Each phrase will have a varying level of "NO-ness." Make sure you pick on that's appropriate.)

Step 7: Celebrate
When you have had some success with your practicing make sure to celebrate! You are doing great! (This might be an emotional strain for some of you, that's okay. If it's exhausting to you, just pull out the ice cream, Oreos and peanut butter!) Keep up the momentum, girl! You can do this!!

Step 8: Re-evaluate
Now that you've practiced and celebrated, re-evaluate your progress. Are you where you would like to be in your nay-saying? If not, make some new goals. :)

Step 9: Apply Yourself
The next step is to use your new skill in real-life situations. Continue to practice these principles in all your dating affairs. (No pun intended.)

You are now on your way to a happy and balanced yes-and-no life. :) Congrats.

Much "'NO' love,"

Lady L.

**Side note: I haven't wanted to say no to very many guys--the ones who ask me out are usually really great. But when I do have to say no, it's difficult.

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