The Unspoken Yes

There are two kinds of people … yes people and no people. Some are yes people. They say yes to almost everything. Others are no people. You might feel like they say no to just about everything. I am 110% a yes person. You can talk me into just about any crazy idea if its going to be a good time (and safe of course) or I’m able to help someone. My sister and I joke that my mom never taught us how to say the word no because she too is a yes person. We all find ourselves helping with crazy projects, volunteering to get the job done or running some crazy kind of errand because it will make someone’s day. Because I’m so willing to inconvenience myself, I get really hurt and/or get frustrated when some else tells me no. If I am willing to do it for them, why won’t they say yes to me?

I had a revelation – what if everyone is a yes person, just in their own way. It depends on how you look at things. When you say no you are saying yes to something unspoken. What do you or the people around you say yes to? I usually say yes to doing things. I don’t mind having to get creative if it still means I can do what I want. So I say yes to the crazy trips and yes to crazy ideas because im looking at a bigger picture – it’s better to work hard in order to do things than it is to miss out on an experience.

There are some people that would say no to the experience … But rather, they are saying yes to the unspoken idea of just keeping things simple. By saying no to the question at hand they might be “unspeaking” yes to less clutter, a quieter schedule, simple afternoons, and so on. They are “unsaying” yes to a different experience than the one in question.

I get really discouraged when someone says no for no apparent reason. At least explain your reasoning… But not everyone I come into contact with is willing to explain themselves. The ownership is on me to find a way to a accept their answer. If I don’t, the resentment builds and I find myself upset with them for a response that really wasn’t wrong – it was just not what I would have liked to hear. But, if I look at the “no” as a yes to something else it’s a little easier to swallow. It also teaches me something about the other person. It’s less discouraging.

Changing your perspective can change the way you feel about life. Its healthy to take new perspectives. When you just focus on what they said no to, it has a negative feeling. Focus on what they said yes to. Doing that can reveal something positive in the situation. You just might learn something new about the person.

I’ll be starting my journey of looking for the the “unspoken yes”. Let me know if it works for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love, Mel


  1. Mel, I love this!! Thanks for postingit, and I will try to put it into action in my own life because I, too, am a yes person (married to a no person, btw.)


    Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

  2. I have 4 boys and have found the joy lately in saying “no.” I found I was spreading myself too thin and taking to much time away from the kids. They will only be around my house so long and at the ages of 9,7,7,5 they are so precious. Pretty soon our lives will be overwhelmed with homework and sports. I don’t want to be at meetings all the time – I want to be home with my family having that family time. I love your post because you are so right – sometimes “no” doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do it – I just want to say “yes” to precious times with my family. Where some might think I don’t want to get involved I just feel there is plenty of time for that later…

  3. I also really like this perspective. An ‘unspoken yes’ is an awesome concept. I, however, in my 51 years of wisdom, (wink, cough) have actually learned how to say ‘no.’ Maybe a reason is needed, but not always. I think it depends on who’s asking and why. I’m more likely to tell my family or close friend ‘why’ I will or won’t do something than say a random phone call to be on a committee or whatever. Sometimes I personally know I’m not a good fit for whatever is being asked. For example, I’m not ‘artsy craftsy.’ I know myself well enough that a day dealing with that sort of thing will not really be fulfilling for (not only) me, but also to whoever is asking… but maybe I’m willing to try something else down the road – something that is a better fit…? So for me, I’ll say yes to somethings, and no to others. So yeah, maybe the no’s really ARE silent yes’s – just to something else. 🙂

  4. As I am learning, healthy relationships and communication (now that I’m a “grown up”), means that I (we) “respect a person’s ‘no’ “. Just hear and respect ‘No’, without expecting an explaination. Of course, I’m also learning to listen for the “yes to something else”.

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