Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Surely an infinite number of women's magazine articles have warned against saying "yes" to every request, and I usually don't. But sometimes the question takes me by surprise, and I find myself saying "yes" much against my better judgment. Then I'm left hoping for the best.

Case in point, today at the kids/family circuit class at the Y. DS1 and I do this two days during the week, and I go on Saturdays while the kids are at tennis. I adore this class, but that's not the point. Our regular instructor has to be away for a few weeks and asked me if I could help out with the class in case they have any scheduling difficulties while she's out.

I said yes without knowing exactly what I was agreeing to, which is the very definition of stupid. I think there would be an official Y person around, but not necessarily someone who was familiar with the circuit class or the circuit stations. At any rate, I'm pretty sure that I'm just a backup, an in case of emergency kind of resource.

Besides, I rationalize to myself, I'll be going to those classes anyway.

Rationalization? A clear sign of a more advanced case of yesitis.

The cure -- well, no real cure, just preventative measures, like learning to say "Let me think about it," before giving an answer. Also, "Let me check my schedule and get back to you," has been known to work really well. I'm fond of, "I'm sorry, I'm already committed for that time," because it's never a lie. If you're going to stay home and watch TV, that's a commitment to yourself, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The key is to be polite but vague when asked, which buys you the time to decide, really and truly, whether this new responsibility is something you want to take on. Then if you say "yes" it will be because you want to do it, not because someone roped you in at an inopportune moment.

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