The Shock of Yes

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Are you ever struck momentarily speechless when someone actually says “yes” to you? Are you ever gearing up for all the possible arguments in your brain and find yourself blindsided when the person you were going to argue against agrees with you instead?

I am.

I find that I often expect to get a “no.” I brace myself for the argument, or the look in someone’s eye that says, “I really don’t want to do this.” They might relent, but deep down I know (or think) that they wish they had said “no.”  The expectation of that look is one of the reasons that I find it incredibly difficult to ask people for help. I assume that I’m interrupting their lives, or somehow asking too much of them.

So, when I get a “yes,” I’m not quite sure how to react.  I wonder if they understood what I was asking. I make sure that they know every conceivable detail so that if they didn’t understand it before, they can now back out.

I don’t think I’m alone in this.

They say that you have to get used to rejection in any new venture, or creative endeavor. There’s a quote attributed to J.K. Rowling about having “Harry Potter” rejected by 12 publishers before she finally got the nod. But have I (and people like me) gotten so good at anticipating the rejection that we’ve stopped hoping for the possibility of acceptance?

Personally, I want to believe that isn’t true. I mean, there has to be some hope for a positive outcome, otherwise why keep moving forward? Still — my shock at someone actually saying “yes” to me makes me wonder.

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