I’ve been working hard lately to improve my skills at saying, “yes”.
I love to do things for other people. I love that great feeling you get when you drop off a meal for someone or do something unexpectedly nice for someone in need.
But I’m not very good at accepting help. I always have an excuse.
“Oh, we’ll be fine.”
“You don’t need to do that.”
“Seriously, we can do it on our own!”
In the last few months, a lot of people have offered to help us in various ways. Since my husband hurt his back, and I have been in the last stage of pregnancy, we have needed help with a few things. And I realized that my gut instinct of refusing help was actually hurting others.
First, it robs someone else of the blessing of doing something nice for someone.
Second, it allows my pride to take over the situation. When I constantly try to convince people we don’t need help, I am only fooling myself.
So, I’ve been trying to make it a habit to automatically say “yes” to whatever people offer. Of course, there have been times when the situation wouldn’t allow me to say “yes”. But I’m getting better at saying “yes” immediately, without even thinking about all the reasons I could say, “no, thanks”.
“Can I take your kids for the weekend so you can get some things done around the house?” YES!
“Can I take a few days off work and help you when you have your baby?” YES!
“Can I mow your lawn?” YES!
“Can I watch your kids for you for a few hours while your husband is out of town?” YES!
“Can I go to the grocery store for you?” YES!
“Can I throw a baby shower for you?” YES!
And most recently, several people have said they would be available to watch my sick children if I go into labor earlier than expected. Even at 3 a.m. “OK… YES!”
I have successfully said “yes” on many occasions lately when it was difficult for me to resist the urge to make excuses for why I didn’t need help. I mean, there’s always Peapod that can bring my groceries. And I’m sure I can pay some kid in the neighborhood to mow my lawn. I can get a sitter for my kids, really I can.
But how nice just to enjoy the kind gesture of a friend.
I’m also trying to improve my “yes-saying” skills in a few other ways. I am trying to stop feeling guilty the whole time someone is helping me and to stop going on and on about how unnecessary it was to do what they did. A polite “thank you” works much better.
How about you? Are you better at doing for other people or being on the receiving end? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to put down your guard and just say, “YES!”?